One of the most dangerous aspects of the novel coronavirus is its potential to cause pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Pandemic influenza A (H1N1) can cause similar problems.
A team of researchers at Ohio State University has developed a potential treatment for ARDS stemming from COVID-19 or influenza.
The inspiration for the therapy, which they tested in mice, resulted in an observation that influenza-infected mice had lower levels of liponucleotides, which are involved in the production of surfactant in the lungs. Pulmonary surfactants support normal lung function, preventing them from partially or fully collapsing.
The researchers administered liponucleotides to influenza-infected mice via both injection and orally. Their blood oxygen levels returned to normal while inflammation decreased.
“The most important and impressive thing in this study is the fact that we have benefits even when we treat late in the disease process,” said Ian Davis, professor of veterinary biosciences at The Ohio State University and senior author of the study, in a statement.
“There’s nothing out there now that can do this for ARDS that will bring them back to that degree, and certainly not for flu.”
The treatment holds promise for more than severe flu and COVID-19. ARDS can result from sepsis, cancer, trauma and exposure to toxins.
The research was published in the American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology.
Filed Under: Infectious Disease