How Remdesivir Works to Fight COVID-19 Inside the Body

On May 1, the U.S Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency-use authorization of remdesivir, an experimental anti-viral drug. With this clearance, doctors in the U.S. are now allowed to use the drug to treat patients with severe cases of COVID-19. Remdesivir isn’t new. It was initially developed to treat Ebola and was also tested in the lab against SARS and MERS—two other coronaviruses that infect humans much like the virus that causes COVID-19. It never made it to the approval stage for those uses, but over the last four months, scientists desperate for options to help mitigate the coronavirus pandemic have been looking towards old drugs that could be repurposed. Remdesivir has in that time traveled an unprecedented path to regulatory approval, becoming one of the most promising therapies against COVID-19 to date. Remdesivir isn’t a vaccine, and so it can’t prevent infection; instead, it works by attacking the virus once it is already spreading inside the body. Here is a look at how the COVID-19 virus propagates in the human body, and how the drug puts the brakes on that process. STEP 1: Virus enters a cell Viruses can’t multiply without using a cell’s protein-making machinery. So they first need to gain entry into a healthy cell. Coronaviruses, like the one that causes COVID-19, have a shell of spiky proteins that allow them to bind to cells. STEP 2: Virus releases genetic code The virus fuses with the cell and, once inside, rel...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized COVID-19 Source Type: news

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The cleverest of enemies thrive on surprise attacks. Viruses—and coronaviruses in particular—know this well. Remaining hidden in animal hosts for decades, they mutate steadily, sometimes serendipitously morphing into more effective and efficient infectious agents. When a strain with just the right combination of genetic codes that spell trouble for people makes the leap from animal to human, the ambush begins. Such was the case with SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus behind COVID-19, and the attack was mostly silent and insidious at first. Many people infected with SARS-CoV-2 remained oblivious as they served as the v...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized COVID-19 Magazine Source Type: news
The last time most of us gave any thought to antibodies was probably in high school biology, but we’re getting a crash refresher course thanks to COVID-19. They are, after all, the key to our best defenses against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that’s caused the global pandemic. People who have been infected likely rely on antibodies to recover, and antibodies are what vaccines are designed to produce. Or at least that’s what infectious-disease and public-health experts assume for now. Because SARS-CoV-2 is such a new virus, even the world’s best authorities aren’t yet sure what it will take to build p...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized COVID-19 Source Type: news
Abstract Interspecies transmissions of viruses between animals and humans may result in unpredictable pathogenic potential and new transmissible diseases. This mechanism has recently been exemplified by the discovery of new pathogenic viruses, such as the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome corona virus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic, Middle-East respiratory syndrome-coronavirus epidemic in Saudi Arabia, and the deadly outbreak of Ebola in West Africa. The. SARS-CoV-2 causes coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19), which is having a massive global impact in terms of economic disruption, and, above all, human health. The di...
Source: Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology - Category: Microbiology Authors: Tags: Appl Microbiol Biotechnol Source Type: research
It wasn’t greed, or curiosity, that made Li Rusheng grab his shotgun and enter Shitou Cave. It was about survival. During Mao-era collectivization of the early 1970s, food was so scarce in the emerald valleys of southwestern China’s Yunnan province that farmers like Li could expect to eat meat only once a year–if they were lucky. So, craving protein, Li and his friends would sneak into the cave to hunt the creatures they could hear squeaking and fluttering inside: bats. Li would creep into the gloom and fire blindly at the vaulted ceiling, picking up any quarry that fell to the ground, while his companion...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized COVID-19 feature Magazine Source Type: news
Abstract World has been suffering from pandemic caused by mysterious Coronavirus. The novel member of Coronaviridae causing COVID-19 disease is named as SARS-Cov-2. Its first case was reported in China by the end of 2019, but its exponential spread has wrapped entire globe, suspended and is penalizing mankind. A retrospective meta-analysis study showed that outbreaks of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and SARS-Cov-1 (Coronaviridae), influenza infection H1N1 and West-African Ebola caused lower mortality than this new pandemic COVID-19. Virus has appeared as a new human pathogen so to counter COVID-19 no spe...
Source: Acta Microbiologica et Immunologica Hungarica - Category: Microbiology Authors: Tags: Acta Microbiol Immunol Hung Source Type: research
Abstract SUMMARYIn recent decades, several new diseases have emerged in different geographical areas, with pathogens including Ebola virus, Zika virus, Nipah virus, and coronaviruses (CoVs). Recently, a new type of viral infection emerged in Wuhan City, China, and initial genomic sequencing data of this virus do not match with previously sequenced CoVs, suggesting a novel CoV strain (2019-nCoV), which has now been termed severe acute respiratory syndrome CoV-2 (SARS-CoV-2). Although coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is suspected to originate from an animal host (zoonotic origin) followed by human-to-human transm...
Source: Clinical Microbiology Reviews - Category: Microbiology Authors: Tags: Clin Microbiol Rev Source Type: research
This article has been accepted for publication on June 23, 2020. Changes may still occur before final publication. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Volume 61 is January 8, 2021. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates. PMID: 32574109 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Source: Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology - Category: Drugs & Pharmacology Authors: Tags: Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol Source Type: research
Authors: Sahu KK, Mishra AK, Lal A Abstract With each passing day, more cases of Coronavirus disease (COVID-2019) are being detected and unfortunately the fear of novel corona virus 2019 (2019-nCoV) becoming a pandemic disease has come true. Constant efforts at individual, national, and international level are being made in order to understand the genomics, hosts, modes of transmission and epidemiological link of nCoV-2019. As of now, whole genome sequence of the newly discovered coronavirus has already been decoded. Genomic characterization nCoV-2019 have shown close homology with bat-derived severe acute respirat...
Source: Monaldi Archives for Chest Disease - Category: Respiratory Medicine Tags: Monaldi Arch Chest Dis Source Type: research
In early April, about four months after a new, highly infectious coronavirus was first identified in China, an international group of scientists reported encouraging results from a study of an experimental drug for treating the viral disease known as COVID-19. It was a small study, reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, but showed that remdesivir, an unapproved drug that was originally developed to fight Ebola, helped 68% of patients with severe breathing problems due to COVID-19 to improve; 60% of those who relied on a ventilator to breathe and took the drug were able to wean themselves off the machines after 18...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized COVID-19 Source Type: news
Last year, when I visited the town of Beni, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), people did not shake hands. Bottles of disinfectant and buckets of chlorinated water were at the entrance of every business. Misinformation spread across social networks and on news-sites, and treatment centers in the northeastern province of North Kivu were being attacked by armed militias. At the time, Beni was one of the centers of a devastating Ebola outbreak, the second most deadly in world history. According to the World Health Organization, almost 3,500 people were sickened by the virus, and more than 2,000 died, a case fatali...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized COVID-19 Source Type: news
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