1 Cardiff School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK
The common cold syndrome of acute upper respiratory tract viral infection is the most common disease among mankind and is an extremely common illness in children. There is a great need for a safe and effective antiviral treatment with minimal side effects. The challenge in developing a treatment is the numerous and varied respiratory viruses that cause this common illness and the need for a treatment with good tolerability and safety.
All respiratory viruses must reach the cell surface by passing through respiratory fluid and mucus, and this common feature may allow for the development of antivirals that capture viruses during this transit.
This article discusses how large polyanionic molecules such as iota-carrageenan may trap positively charged respiratory viruses. Iota-carrageenan is a large polysaccharide molecule which is neither absorbed from the respiratory tract nor metabolised. It, therefore, does not have any pharmacological properties. Iota-carrageenan nasal spray has been shown to reduce the titres of respiratory viruses and to reduce the severity of symptoms in placebo-controlled clinical trials, including children and adults. The results of four clinical trials are presented.
Iota-carrageenan is a good candidate as a safe and effective non-specific antiviral treatment for common cold, and more research is justified on polyanionic molecules like carrageenans as antivirals.
open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode). This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
* Address correspondence to this author at the Cardiff School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK, Tel: 44 (0)2920 844343, Email: email@example.com