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Abstract

AN OVERVIEW OF THE USE OF BIOLOGICS AND NATURAL PRODUCTS IN TREATMENT OF BETA CORONAVIRUSES

Eve De Rosa, Jasmine Helwa, Andrea Sicat and Yashwant V. Pathak*

ABSTRACT

Since the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in 2003 and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in 2012, SARS-2 is the latest respiratory disease that has been declared a global pandemic back in 2019. These respiratory infections are all caused by coronaviruses, a group of RNA viruses that are all highly pathogenic and easily transmissible in humans. Nonetheless, this research paper aims to differentiate the three zoonotic coronavirus strains responsible for delivering each viral respiratory condition, namely SARS-Cov, MERS-Cov and SARS-Cov-2. The three viruses are all Beta coronaviruses. While many treatments and potential remedies have been examined, biologics and natural products are still viable options, which have not been explored in as much depth. This paper also aims to provide an overview of potential options, while highlighting similarities between the three Beta coronaviruses that allow certain treatment mechanisms to be used and build off each other. To do this, the authors of this paper first examined the history of Beta coronaviruses outbreaks and outlined their respective epidemics and pandemics. Then, the history of the use of biologics and natural products was examined. Afterwards, the three Beta coronaviruses were divided in sections. Each section provides an overview of current treatment options and research into specific mechanisms that neutralize the viruses or mitigate their effects. It was found that across the board, due to the similar structure of Beta Coronaviruses, certain remedies targeting coronavirus receptors, replication, and protein function are all being used or studied. While further research is needed in order to understand the viability of several of these products as drugs to be produced on a mass scale, several biologics and natural products are key candidates in order help fight against Beta coronaviruses. It was observed that overall biologics and natural products have the capability to inhibit Beta coronaviruses, and that due to their structural similarities; treatments for prior epidemics of Beta coronaviruses can be useful in examining the current pandemic.

Keywords: SARS-1, MERS, SARS-2, SARS COVe-2, Biologics, Natural products, Traditional Chinese medicines.


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