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New nasal spray protects against Covid-19 for up to 48 hours

New nasal spray protects against Covid-19 for up to 48 hours

A nasal spray that claims to provide protection against Covid-19 infection for up to 48 hours could soon be available in the UK. Chemicals alread

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A nasal spray that claims to provide protection against Covid-19 infection for up to 48 hours could soon be available in the UK. 

Chemicals already approved for human use have been combined to make the spray, and lab studies show it inhibits the ability of the coronavirus to bind to human cells.

The spray is made of two main ingredients, called carrageenan and gellan, which are both used in food science as thickening agents. 

Because the ingredients are already approved for human use, the developers say the product is ready to use as soon as it gets the go-ahead from the authorities.  

Chemicals already approved for human use have been combined to make the spray and lab studies show it inhibits the ability of the coronavirus to bind to human cells

Chemicals already approved for human use have been combined to make the spray and lab studies show it inhibits the ability of the coronavirus to bind to human cells

Chemicals already approved for human use have been combined to make the spray and lab studies show it inhibits the ability of the coronavirus to bind to human cells

Lead author on the paper, Dr Richard Moakes, said: ‘This spray is made from readily available products that are already being used in food products and medicines and we purposely built these conditions into our design process. 

‘It means that, with the right partners, we could start mass production within weeks.’

The gellan component allows the spray to be administered as a fine mist and it coats the entire inside of the nose. 

If the spray comes into contact with SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes Covid-19, it catches it, encases it and expels it either by swallowing or by blowing of the nose.

The researchers behind the project at the University of Birmingham say the spray could be particularly useful in high-risk situations, such as for healthcare workers, flights or in classrooms. 

The gellan component allows the spray to be administered as a fine mist and once it is in the nose it catches and encases SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus which causes Covid-19, and it is neutralised by swallowing or by blowing of the nose (stock)

The gellan component allows the spray to be administered as a fine mist and once it is in the nose it catches and encases SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus which causes Covid-19, and it is neutralised by swallowing or by blowing of the nose (stock)

The gellan component allows the spray to be administered as a fine mist and once it is in the nose it catches and encases SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus which causes Covid-19, and it is neutralised by swallowing or by blowing of the nose (stock) 

Nose drops made with chicken coronavirus antibodies ‘give short-term immunity to Covid-19’ 

Nose drops made using coronavirus antibodies harvested from chicken eggs could give short-term immunity to Covid-19, scientists have claimed.

Chickens make antibodies to infections just like humans do, and the infection-fighting chemicals are also found in high concentrations in their eggs. 

Researchers are using the birds to rapidly produce antibodies to the coronavirus and are extracting them from their yolks in the hope they can help humans. 

They believe that if the chicken antibodies are integrated into a nasal spray or droplets, they could provide short-term protection from Covid-19.  

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In situations where the risk of transmission is high, the scientists envision using the spray alongside pre-existing measures, such as social distancing and face masks. 

‘Products like these don’t replace existing measures such as mask wearing and handwashing, which will continue to be vital to preventing the spread of the virus,’ adds Dr Moakes.  

‘What this spray will do, however, is add a second layer of protection to prevent and slow transmission.’

The results of the latest tests are available as a pre-print on the server bioRxiv

Dr Simon Clarke, an associate professor in cellular microbiology at the University of Reading, told MailOnline: ‘Some people use similar nasal sprays for the common cold but they rely on people noticing the symptoms in time, however Covid-19 appears to only cause symptoms once the virus has reached the lungs; the spray won’t reach that far down the respiratory tract in any significant quantity. 

‘It remains to be seen how, if this one is effective, it could be used. It might be the case that it needs to be taken continuously to prevent infection.’  

Stanford scientists had a similar thought to the Birmingham academics and are also in the process of creating a preventative nasal spray. 

But instead of using authorised compounds found in lots of foods, they are using chicken antibodies harvested from their eggs. 

Chickens make antibodies to infections just like humans do, and the infection-fighting chemicals are also found in high concentrations in their eggs.

However, while the academics behind the project are bullish about its potential uses, others are more sceptical.

Simon Clarke, associate professor in cellular microbiology at the University of Reading, told The Times: ‘It could have some utility, but it assumes that people are only infected via the nose. 

‘This strategy wouldn’t stop infection via the mouth or eyes.’ 

This post first appeared on Dailymail.co.uk

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