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Special Issue "Natural Products for COVID-19: Prevention and Treatment"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049). This special issue belongs to the section "Natural Products Chemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2022) | Viewed by 7907

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Eduardo Sobarzo-Sánchez
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Instituto de Investigación y Postgrado en Salud, Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Central de Chile, Santiago, Chile
2. Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Interests: medicinal chemistry; natural products; photochemistry reactivity; aporphine and oxoaporphine; oxoisoaporphine; coumarins
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Esra Küpeli Akkol
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Gazi University, Gazi, Turkey
Interests: pharmacology and toxicology; analytical pharmacognosy; anti inflammatory; phytochemistry; medicinal plant

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Coronaviruses are a large family (subfamily Coronavirinae, order Nidovirales) of viruses which may cause disease in animals or humans. Human coronaviruses—the severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV), Middle East respiratory syndrome-associated coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and the most recently discovered coronavirus (COVID-19), which is a type of RNA virus—cause serious viral pneumonitis, leading to hospitalizations and deaths [1]. This virus is considered most contagious when people are symptomatic, though transmission is also probable before symptoms display in patients. Common symptoms include fever, cough, sneezing and shortness of breath. Complications may include pneumonia, throat pain and acute respiratory distress syndrome [2].

This pandemic has caused great human and material losses, and has put health services on serious alert about how to combat such a viral infection on a global scale. While it is true that the development of a cure is progressing at full speed, less attention and effort has been devoted to the prevention of this rapidly spreading respiratory infectious disease. Although several candidate vaccines have so far advanced in clinical trials, limited data on the efficacy and safety of the vaccine in humans have been published, not to mention that the long-term effectiveness of those vaccines remains an open question. Natural products and medicinal herbs have historically been used for acute respiratory infection and show acceptable toxicity. Thus, the most recent advance in the prevention of SARS-CoV-2, including the development of experimental vaccines, comes from the prolonged use of natural products that show an inhibitory effect on the human coronavirus and on the basis of herbs used for COVID-19. The use of isolation techniques for active principles, such as their extracts, synthesis of compounds of natural origin (vegetable and marine), the study and design of drugs and their transport through drug delivery system as a means to administer a vaccine efficient antiviral, will give us an idea of how the large pharmaceutical laboratories are preparing potential vaccines from isolated principles and in combination with natural sources.

We invite authors from all parts of the world to contribute research reviews that evaluate the antiviral effect of medicinal plants and marine drugs. We are particularly interested in manuscripts that describe the assessment of antiviral activity by in vitro, in vivo, in silico and cell-based assays and compile the biological effect by using active molecules from natural sources. This Special Issue provides a venue for authors from various disciplines to disseminate crucial information about the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the effect of natural products with therapeutic application without side effects.

References:

  1. WHO Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19) March 2020, https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses.
  2. Pal M. Severe acute respiratory syndrome: A newly recognized viral zoonosis of public health concern. Acta Scientific Microbiology. 2018, 1:1.

The subtopics to be covered within this issue are listed below:

  • Perspectives (based on systematic reviews), such as predictions, estimations, comparisons to other viral entities;
  • In vivo, in vitro, in silico and cell-based assays on antiviral activity;
  • Elucidating the mechanism of action;
  • Evidenced-based research and clinical trials on SARS Cov2;
  • Drug delivery systems

Prof. Dr. Eduardo Sobarzo-Sánchez
Prof. Dr. Esra Küpeli Akkol
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Molecules is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Antiviral
  • Pandemic
  • SARS-Cov-2
  • COVID
  • Natural therapy
  • Drug development

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Article
Pimenta dioica (L.) Merr. Bioactive Constituents Exert Anti-SARS-CoV-2 and Anti-Inflammatory Activities: Molecular Docking and Dynamics, In Vitro, and In Vivo Studies
Molecules 2021, 26(19), 5844; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26195844 - 27 Sep 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 1212
Abstract
In response to the urgent need to control Coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19), this study aims to explore potential anti-SARS-CoV-2 agents from natural sources. Moreover, cytokine immunological responses to the viral infection could lead to acute respiratory distress which is considered a critical and [...] Read more.
In response to the urgent need to control Coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19), this study aims to explore potential anti-SARS-CoV-2 agents from natural sources. Moreover, cytokine immunological responses to the viral infection could lead to acute respiratory distress which is considered a critical and life-threatening complication associated with the infection. Therefore, the anti-viral and anti-inflammatory agents can be key to the management of patients with COVID-19. Four bioactive compounds, namely ferulic acid 1, rutin 2, gallic acid 3, and chlorogenic acid 4 were isolated from the leaves of Pimenta dioica (L.) Merr (ethyl acetate extract) and identified using spectroscopic evidence. Furthermore, molecular docking and dynamics simulations were performed for the isolated and identified compounds (14) against SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro) as a proposed mechanism of action. Furthermore, all compounds were tested for their half-maximal cytotoxicity (CC50) and SARS-CoV-2 inhibitory concentrations (IC50). Additionally, lung toxicity was induced in rats by mercuric chloride and the effects of treatment with P. dioca aqueous extract, ferulic acid 1, rutin 2, gallic acid 3, and chlorogenic acid 4 were recorded through measuring TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-2, IL-10, G-CSF, and genetic expression of miRNA 21-3P and miRNA-155 levels to assess their anti-inflammatory effects essential for COVID-19 patients. Interestingly, rutin 2, gallic acid 3, and chlorogenic acid 4 showed remarkable anti-SARS-CoV-2 activities with IC50 values of 31 µg/mL, 108 μg/mL, and 360 µg/mL, respectively. Moreover, the anti-inflammatory effects were found to be better in ferulic acid 1 and rutin 2 treatments. Our results could be promising for more advanced preclinical and clinical studies especially on rutin 2 either alone or in combination with other isolates for COVID-19 management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products for COVID-19: Prevention and Treatment)
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Review

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Review
A Brief Overview of Potential Treatments for Viral Diseases Using Natural Plant Compounds: The Case of SARS-Cov
Molecules 2021, 26(13), 3868; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26133868 - 24 Jun 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2086
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the more general global increase in viral diseases, has led researchers to look to the plant kingdom as a potential source for antiviral compounds. Since ancient times, herbal medicines have been extensively applied in the treatment and [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the more general global increase in viral diseases, has led researchers to look to the plant kingdom as a potential source for antiviral compounds. Since ancient times, herbal medicines have been extensively applied in the treatment and prevention of various infectious diseases in different traditional systems. The purpose of this review is to highlight the potential antiviral activity of plant compounds as effective and reliable agents against viral infections, especially by viruses from the coronavirus group. Various antiviral mechanisms shown by crude plant extracts and plant-derived bioactive compounds are discussed. The understanding of the action mechanisms of complex plant extract and isolated plant-derived compounds will help pave the way towards the combat of this life-threatening disease. Further, molecular docking studies, in silico analyses of extracted compounds, and future prospects are included. The in vitro production of antiviral chemical compounds from plants using molecular pharming is also considered. Notably, hairy root cultures represent a promising and sustainable way to obtain a range of biologically active compounds that may be applied in the development of novel antiviral agents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products for COVID-19: Prevention and Treatment)
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Review
Targeting Multiple Signal Transduction Pathways of SARS-CoV-2: Approaches to COVID-19 Therapeutic Candidates
Molecules 2021, 26(10), 2917; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26102917 - 14 May 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2162
Abstract
Due to the complicated pathogenic pathways of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), related medicinal therapies have remained a clinical challenge. COVID-19 highlights the urgent need to develop mechanistic pathogenic pathways and effective agents for preventing/treating future epidemics. As a result, the destructive pathways of [...] Read more.
Due to the complicated pathogenic pathways of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), related medicinal therapies have remained a clinical challenge. COVID-19 highlights the urgent need to develop mechanistic pathogenic pathways and effective agents for preventing/treating future epidemics. As a result, the destructive pathways of COVID-19 are in the line with clinical symptoms induced by severe acute coronary syndrome (SARS), including lung failure and pneumonia. Accordingly, revealing the exact signaling pathways, including inflammation, oxidative stress, apoptosis, and autophagy, as well as relative representative mediators such as tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf2), Bax/caspases, and Beclin/LC3, respectively, will pave the road for combating COVID-19. Prevailing host factors and multiple steps of SARS-CoV-2 attachment/entry, replication, and assembly/release would be hopeful strategies against COVID-19. This is a comprehensive review of the destructive signaling pathways and host–pathogen interaction of SARS-CoV-2, as well as related therapeutic targets and treatment strategies, including potential natural products-based candidates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Products for COVID-19: Prevention and Treatment)
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