Every day scientists across the world are working endlessly to find a cure for the deadly coronavirus. Till now, we’ve seen countless emergency drugs such as Itolizumab, remedesvir, flapiravir, etc. But much to our chagrin, none of them have proven to be a potential cure. However, a recent Nitric Oxide treatment, discovered by George Washington University, can play a pivotal role in our battle against the coronavirus.
Nitric Oxide is notorious for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It plays a key role in the function of the pulmonary vasculature (blood vessels of the respiratory system) during viral infections and other respiratory diseases. In 2003, during the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) caused by the Sars-CoV-1, Nitric Oxide inhibited the replication of the virus. It did so by cytotoxic reactions (antibody dependent reactions) leading to formation of intermediates such as peroxynitrite (combination of Nitric Oxide with Superoxide). Therefore, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration listed Nitric Oxide as a potential COVID-19 treatment under its emergency expanded access program.
Adam Friedman, MD, interim chair and Dermatology professor at George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences, says, “Nitric Oxide plays a key role in maintaining normal vascular function and regulating inflammatory cascades that contribute to acute lung injury (ALI) and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).” A team of doctors at George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences, reviewed the lifecycle and pathogenesis (manner of development of a disease) of the coronavirus. The team of authors led by Nagasai Adusumilli also underscored the potential for inhaled Nitric Oxide in better clinical outcomes and palliating the stress on health care caused due to COVID-19.
Dr. Friedman says, “With the emergence of COVID-19 as a pandemic with the ability to overwhelm our body and our healthcare infrastructure, patients have a pressing need for effective agents that can slow the disease in their bodies and in their communities.” The authors of the study suggest that if the efficacy of Nitric Oxide in the treatment of COVID-19 can be proven, then it can play a pivotal role in our fight against the pandemic.
The coronavirus is a RNA (nucleic acid) virus which normally infects birds and livestock. But after crossing the species barrier and mutating, it’s become highly infectious and lethal in humans. Currently, there’s no treatment or cure for the coronavirus and that’s why the world is in dire straits. Due to the unavailability of a specific treatment and the high mortality rate of the virus, there is an urgent need of drugs which can cease the coronavirus replication. The George Washington University doctors and scientists are going to hit the pedal and take their research on the next level. God willing, the research will soon have the answers if Nitric Oxide can be a potential treatment for the coronavirus.