Science and Nature

Intranasal fusion inhibitory lipopeptide prevents dispute-contact SARS-CoV-2 transmission in ferrets

Halting transmission

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike (S) glycoprotein binds to host cells and initiates membrane fusion and cell infection. This stage in the virus life ancient past is currently a blueprint for drug inhibition. De Vries et al. designed extremely precise lipoprotein fusion inhibitors complementary to a conserved repeat in the C terminus of S that mix into host cell membranes and inhibit conformational adjustments in S valuable for membrane fusion. The authors tested the efficiency of the lipoproteins as a preexposure prophylactic in a ferret-to-ferret transmission look. Intranasal administration of the peptide 2 days sooner than cohousing with an infected ferret for 24 hours entirely stable animals in contact from infection and confirmed efficacy in opposition to mutant viruses. Because ferrets plot no longer score ill from SARS-CoV-2, disease prevention will no longer be tested on this model.

Science, this project p. 1379


Containment of the COVID-19 pandemic requires lowering viral transmission. Excessive acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection is initiated by membrane fusion between the viral and host cell membranes, which is mediated by the viral spike protein. We have designed lipopeptide fusion inhibitors that block this well-known first step of infection and, on the premise of in vitro efficacy and in vivo biodistribution, chosen a dimeric build for overview in an animal model. Day-to-day intranasal administration to ferrets entirely avoided SARS-CoV-2 dispute-contact transmission for the length of 24-hour cohousing with infected animals, under stringent stipulations that resulted in infection of 100% of untreated animals. These lipopeptides are extremely precise and thus might possibly additionally merely readily translate into stable and effective intranasal prophylaxis to slit transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

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