Title : Engystol may reduce lung pathology in SARS-CoV-2 infected hamsters: A pilot study
Despite the introduction of vaccines and new anti-viral therapies, the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) continues to be a serious global public health crisis. The emergence of new viral variants that escape protection from vaccines is a continuing problem throughout the world and it is imperative to develop new therapeutics to treat the disease. Immunomodulatory drugs are an effective therapeutic approach to treat COVID-19 patients and reduce morbidity and mortality. Engystol (EGY-2) is a multicomponent drug made from natural ingredients that has anti-viral properties and shows beneficial immunomodulatory activity in upper respiratory tract infections1–4.
In this pilot study, we used a low and a high dose of daily subcutaneous EGY-2 beginning 7 days prior to infection through to 3 days post-infection to measure the ability of EGY-2 in reducing disease severity in a SARS-CoV-2 hamster model.
This pilot study shows that EGY-2 (1,6 mL/kg), when given prophylactically, qualitatively reduces lung inflammation and its associated histopathology in SARS-CoV-2-infected Syrian hamsters. Interestingly, histopathological manifestations caused by progressive SARS-CoV-2 infection may predict COVID-19 severity better than individual measures such as viral load5. EGY-2 appeared not to affect body weight loss, blood cell parameters or viral load. Supported by previous studies, these results suggest that EGY-2 may have immunomodulatory effects that may reduce disease severity alone or as part of a combination therapy in COVID-19 patients. Further investigations are needed.
Audience take away:
- Presentation will encourage researchers on immunomodulatory strategies against COVID-19
- It underlines the importance of the histopathological manifestations caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection as they may be improved, although individual measures such as body weight loss, blood cell parameters or viral load appeared not being affected
- It will introduce the multicomponent drug Engystol which consists of natural ingredients, and which may be beneficial in reducing disease severity when used alone or as part of a combination therapy in COVID-19 patients