A team supervised by Suman Kapur, senior professor and dean at BITS Pilani, Hyderabad, and Promoter of Xcellence in Bio Innovations, a start-up from TBI, has come up with nutraceutical formulation-based approach to reduce transmission of coronavirus. It will be tested in a 14-day period clinical efficacy trial using a case control design.

“If found successful, it will make life easier in state-run facilities or at home for half a million Indians who are under quarantine. It has the potential to disrupt human-to-human transmission and could greatly affect the duration of the nationwide lockdown” Kapur said.

She informed that The virus structurally has surface spike protein, which provides the first communication with our epithelial nasal, buccal, and pharyngeal cells, and this protein is contained in a fat envelope. As soap and detergents kill this fat layer, it is advisable that people around the world use sanitizers regularly and wash hands after touching open surfaces. Scientists have recorded that viruses develop in the mouth and throat for 1-5 days after infection.

If edible, FSSAI-approved saponin-rich nutraceuticals (these disrupt fat much like soap) and mannose and mannan-glycan binding molecules, which attach to spike protein glycoprotein “S,” used as mouth and throat wash (through gargling) would certainly aid. This may help create a drink, mouthwash and a syrup tested by nutraceuticals approved by FSSAI, and also serve as a deterrent to dissolve and disintegrate the virus ‘lipid envelope. This is close to the detergent-based method for hand sanitation embraced worldwide. This AYUSH strategy seeks to wash away the virus in an infected person’s mouth and throat during the first few days of their presence.

It is an AYUSH-based approach to reduce transmission of coronavirus, which comes in reply to the call for creative solutions from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to combat virus spread. The PM had interacted with members of the Alternative Medicines Ministry (AYUSH) and called on experts to discuss AYUSH-based solutions to counter the spread of this deadly pandemic.