Scientists find coronavirus inhibitor blocking MERS and SARS


A team of European scientists say they have discovered a compound that can prevent the spreading of coronaviruses, responsible for the SARS and MERS outbreaks that have killed about 1,000 people worldwide.A team of scientists led by Edward Trybala from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, and Volker Thiel from the University of Bern have discovered a compound they call ‘K22,’ which appears to block the ability of the virus to spread among humans.The discovery was published in the scientific journal “PLOS Pathogens.”Coronaviruses affect the upper and lower respiratory system in humans and are responsible for causing up to one-third of common colds.Initially, the team observed that K22 was able to fight a weak form of coronavirus that leads to mild cold-like symptoms. Later, the compound performed well against more serious strains, including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which killed nearly 800 people in 2002-2003, as well as the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), which has already killed 193 people and keeps spreading.

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