Remdesivir is one of the most widely prescribed medications to combat coronavirus disease globally. And now, a new study has suggested that an extract from seaweed is capable of blocking coronavirus more effectively than remdesivir. According to researchers, it is Heparin, a sulfated polysaccharide extracted from brown seaweeds, which is showing anti-coronavirus properties.
Seaweed Diet and the Mysterious Giglio Island
In the meantime, an Italian island is literally surprising medical experts, as the entire region is spared by the coronavirus outbreak. Even though conditions were favorable for the virus spread in this island, none of the islanders developed symptoms of infection. The islanders used to socialize in the steep alleys in the port, and adequate social distancing measures in the region still remain elusive.
In the initial days of the outbreak, several infected tourists had visited Giglio Islands, but none of the Islanders were contracted with coronavirus. Interestingly, several people have now started claiming that seaweed food habits among the islanders could be one reason that might be helping people to stay away from coronavirus. Even though there is no scientific evidence to back these claims, several people have started propagating the vitality of including seaweed in the diet to combat coronavirus infection.
According to the new study, sulfated polysaccharides effectively inhibit SARS-CoV-2. However, scientists made it clear that it is a complicated mechanism that is making heparin to inhibit coronavirus infection.
"It's a very complicated mechanism that we quite frankly don't know all the details about, but we're getting more information. One thing that's become clear with this study is that the larger the molecule, the better the fit. The more successful compounds are the larger sulfated polysaccharides that offer a greater number of sites on the molecules to trap the virus," said Jonathan Dordick, the lead researcher and a professor of chemical and biological engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute who led the study in a recent statement.
Luck or Genetics?
However, some medical experts believe that luck and genetics could be helping Giglio Island residents to prevent contraction with coronavirus.
"It could be something more or less trivial. Nobody gets infected through good luck, as there was little contact. It could be something important and exotic," said Daniel Altman, a professor of Immunology at the Imperial College, London, CTV News reports.
Massimo Andreoni, head of infectious disease at Rome's Tor Vergata hospital, revealed that some patients are simply less capable of spreading the disease to others, and the reason remains unclear. According to some medical experts, this factor might be hindering the spread of coronavirus in Giglio Island.
Coronavirus: Latest Statistics
According to the latest updates, the novel coronavirus that originated from Wuhan, China, has claimed the lives of more than 6,54,000 people worldwide, and the total number of positive cases has crossed 16.5 million.
Italy, which was initially the hotbed of COVID-19 outbreak, has now successfully contained the virus outbreak. The worst affected countries in the world due to the outbreak are now the United States, India and Brazil. Recent trends indicate that the number of positive cases in these countries could go up in the coming days if strict lockdown measures are not imposed.