Covid-19 has spread rapidly around the world, taking the lives of over 4 million people and infecting many other. The etiological agent of the virus is coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The current pandemic follows two previous global outbreaks, SARS in 2002-2003 and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in 2012.
The evolution of the disease, like its delta variant, makes containment very difficult despite the vaccination programs and all the implemented measures. However, experts know the nasopharyngeal epithelium to be the main site of infection and, therefore, the primary portal for viruses. It is also the site for viral replications, and if adequately contained, it could stop the Covid-19 infection.
A current study presents a nasal spray that could stop the current coronavirus infection and other viruses. The spray is called AM-301 (Bentrio), and it was created by Fabio Fais et al. The Bentrio device is a new hope against the deadly disease. Researchers say the spray is safe to use, and it also decreased the viral titer.
The use of AM-301 has multiple benefits. Its properties are non-pharmaceutical, and besides being used against viruses, it can protect people from allergens and pollutants in the air.
Bentonite is not something new to scientists. Its properties are known for capturing viruses; however, the latest study shows the clay mineral capacity to capture airborne infections. The new spray has a white to light beige colour, is odourless and tasteless.
“When we applied it to our own nasal mucosa or palmar skin, it had a soothing non-irritant, lotion-like consistency,” say the experts.
The formulation of AM-301 can prevent the infection of SARS-CoV-2 and lessen its effects if already infected. So far, the only side effect is a small diminution in cilia beating frequency after four days of use. However, this is not detrimental to our health and is due to the viscosity of the preparation.
“Together, mucociliary clearance and immune responses should protect the nasal epithelium from pathogens, but infection can ensue in cases of high viral exposure or dysfunction of these mucosal defenses,” say the researchers.
Although the discovery could become a new weapon against Covid-19, viruses often manage to invade our body even with a nasal barrier. Experts will need further investigation to determine the spray’s effectiveness.