June 16, 2024
Topical Drug Delivery Market

A Common Antibiotic Delivered Nasally May Offer Protection Against Respiratory Viral Infections: Findings from Yale-Led Study

A recent study led by researchers at Yale University suggests that a common antibiotic, when administered nasally, could potentially prevent or treat various respiratory viral infections, including COVID-19 and influenza.

The team, led by Akiko Iwasaki, Sterling Professor of Immunobiology and professor of dermatology at Yale School of Medicine, and former Yale researcher Charles Dela Cruz, discovered that neomycin, a widely used antibiotic, was effective in preventing or treating respiratory viral infections in animal models when administered through the nasal passageway. They further found that an over-the-counter ointment containing neomycin, Neosporin, triggered a swift immune response in healthy human noses.

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, offers promising insights into the potential of a nasally administered antibiotic as a preventative and therapeutic measure against viral diseases.

Respiratory viruses, such as SARS-CoV-2 and influenza, affect millions of people each year, with the COVID-19 pandemic causing over 774.5 million cases and 6.9 million deaths worldwide as of February 2024. Influenza viruses account for up to 5 million cases of severe illness and 500,000 deaths annually.

Currently, most treatments for respiratory viral infections focus on stopping the progression of existing infections through intravenous or oral administration of antivirals, monoclonal antibodies, and convalescent plasma therapy. However, the researchers believe that a nasal-centered therapy has a better chance of preventing infections before they spread to the lower respiratory tract and cause severe diseases.

The collaborative study combined animal pulmonary infection modeling experiments with human study evaluations of this intranasal approach to stimulate antiviral immunity. The researchers found that mice treated intranasally with neomycin showed a robust interferon-stimulated gene (ISG) line of defense against both SARS-CoV-2 and a highly virulent strain of influenza A virus. They also found that an intranasal treatment of neomycin strongly mitigated contact transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in hamsters.

In healthy humans, intranasal application of Neosporin initiated a strong expression of ISGs in a subset of volunteers. The researchers suggest that this cheap and generic antibiotic could be optimized to prevent viral diseases and their spread in human populations, particularly in global communities with limited resources.

The co-first authors of the study are Tianyang Mao, Jooyoung Kim, and Mario Peña-Hernández, all from Yale University.

*Note:
1.Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2.We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it