Scientists have been scouring the world for potential COVID cures.
They’ve found one with global potential right here at home.
An international study led by UBC researchers has examined 350 naturally derived compounds from plants, fungi, and marine bacteria.
They were sourced from Brazil, Thailand, Italy, and here in Canada.
As it turns out, natural cures are pretty plentiful, especially here in the True North.
They found 26 compounds which were all successful in fighting off the virus.
The top three, selected for their effectiveness in the smallest dosage, were all from Canada!
One was found in a sea sponge up in Howe Sound, one from a marine bacteria off the coast of Newfoundland, and the island pulled through with ocean bacteria found just outside Port Alberni in Barkley Sound.
The discoveries are not only remarkable for their natural sourcing but because of the way they fight COVID-19.
Tests have shown them to be highly effective. Instead of attacking the virus itself, they target the “tools” in human cells that the virus uses to spread.
This means they have the potential to cure both current and future variants of COVID.
Jimena Pérez-Vargas, a co-first author on the study and research associate in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at UBC, told Blackpress Media that most current COVID-19 treatments have to be redesigned every time a new variant emerges because they fight the virus directly.
The new compounds, however, could completely reduce viral infection in most tested cells without targeting any specific variant.
In their study, the researchers tested the compounds with the Delta variant and multiple forms of Omicron, and found the compounds were effective against each of them.
“We know that it could be possible that they are effective with the next variants, too,” Pérez-Vargas said.
The naturally-sourced compounds will likely still take a few years to be used commercially. They’ll need to go through extensive testing for side effects and catch the pharmaceutical industry’s interest to take things to the next level.
The current results are super promising and could be a huge step toward protecting all of us.