COVID-19: Will ‘gangajal’ help fight the virus?

The Institute of Medical Sciences of the Banaras Hindu University (IMS-BHU) is now wanting ahead to conducting human trials of the Gangetic bacteriophages, viruses that infect and kill bacterial cells, to show their therapeutic utility and remedy of COVID-19 an infection. The workforce conducting the analysis is awaiting the required permission from the moral committee of the BHU. The workforce contains the head of the division Prof Rameshwar Nath Chaurasia, senior neurologist Prof Vijay Nath Mishra, Kumari Nidhi, Dr Abhishek Pathak, Dr Varun Kumar Singh and Dr Anand Kumar. Besides, Rajnish Chaturvedi of the System Toxicology and Health Research Group, CSIR-Indian Institute of Toxicology Research, Lucknow and Arun Kumar Gupta, amicus curiae, Allahabad High Court, are additionally related to the group that’s exploring the diverse functions of bacteriophages and their revival in the frozen Himalayan permafrost. Also Read – COVID-19 Live Updates: Cases in India surge to 50,20,359 whereas dying toll reaches 82,066

Bacteriophages from Ganga water might help fight COVID-19

Several research have confirmed that along with their anti-bacterial talents, bacteriophages additionally present anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. Their overview article, ‘Bacteriophages: Possible roles in treatment for SARS-Cov-2 infection’, has been accepted by the International Journal of Microbiology for publication. According to Prof Vijay Nath Mishra, “This overview explores the impression of bacteriophages on SARS-CoV-2, particularly regarding phage remedy (PT). It has additionally been proven that PT is efficient for constructing immunity towards viral pathogens and, moreover, phages produce the anti-viral protein phagicin. Water from the Ganga has historically been thought-about a therapeutic agent for a number of illnesses. Researchers are hopeful that the Ganga river might play a therapeutic function in the remedy of COVID-19. Also Read – Yoga asanas to spice up your youngsters’ immunity throughout the pandemic

It might cease replication of viral DNA

The phagicin is a protein that interferes with the replication of viral DNA, but it surely doesn’t trigger any hurt to the host DNA. Phages in the physique compete with the different extremely infective eukaryotic viruses for mobile receptors and thereby limit their dangerous actions on the host cell. Bacteriophages include a nucleic acid molecule surrounded by a selected protein coat (capsid). In Ganga, the proportion of bacteriophages is thrice greater than that of micro organism. Also Read – COVID-19 vaccine by early 2021: Old, high-risk group to get it first, says Health Ministry

Human trials to begin instantly

It has been reported by the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute that the Ganga accommodates roughly 1,100 forms of bacteriophages. This is considerably greater than that in the Yamuna and Narmada, which comprise fewer than 200 species of bacteriophages. The Ganga water additionally reveals excessive alkalinity and a few of its self-purificatory properties contribute to the development of bacteriophages.

Prof Chaurasia stated that the phages mediate immunoregulatory and immunotherapeutic actions which might be related in balancing the immunological homeostasis of the human topics. He stated that the findings on phages and their doable anti-viral properties are preliminary and should be validated by meticulous in-vitro and in-vivo research. If lab research present some promising outcomes, then it may very well be doable to have medical research and randomised part 1-3 human trials to show their therapeutic utility. “The human trials will be started immediately after the permission of the ethical committee of the BHU,” he stated, including that each one preparations have been made for this function.

(With inputs from IANS)

Published : September 16, 2020 1:10 pm


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