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Nasal spray prevents infection in ferrets

Aurélien Mora / Wikimedia commons

A nasal spray tested on ferrets prevented absorption of SARS-CoV-2 and for a period of 24 hours, prevented them from becoming infected with the novel coronavirus when exposed to animals known to be affected by the pathogen (bioRxiv, November 5). The product contains a lipopeptide, a fat molecule linked to a chain of amino acids, which neutralizes the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein that allows the virus to enter human cells and replicate. It was developed by an international team of researchers led by Matteo Porotto and Anne Moscona, from Columbia University Irving Medical Center in the USA. In the experiments, ferrets that were not given the spray became infected with the coronavirus after coming into contact with animals carrying SARS-Cov-2 in their airways. If the product proves to be equally safe and effective in humans, it could be used on a daily basis to prevent coronavirus infection.