Researchers at Uppsala University have found that an effective way of treating the coronavirus behind the 2003 SARS epidemic also works on the closely related SARS-CoV-2 virus, the culprit in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The substance concerned is nitric oxide (NO), a compound with antiviral properties that is produced by the body itself. The study is published in the journal Redox Biology.
“To our knowledge, nitric oxide is the only substance shown so far to have a direct effect on SARS-CoV-2,” says Åke Lundkvist, a professor at Uppsala University, who led the study.
Since there is still no effective cure for COVID-19, the main emphasis in the treatments tested has been on relieving symptoms. This can shorten hospital stays and reduce mortality. To date, however, it has not been possible to prove that any of these treatments has affected the actual virus behind the infection.
Nitric oxide (NO) is