Dr. I E Cock1,2
1School of Environment and Science, Nathan Campus, Griffith University, 170 Kessels Rd, Nathan, Brisbane, Queensland-4111, AUSTRALIA.
2Centre for Planetary Health and Food Security, Nathan Campus, Griffith University, 170 Kessels Rd, Nathan, Brisbane, Queensland-4111, AUSTRALIA.
South Africa has a well-documented history of medicinal plant usage to treat a myriad of medical conditions, including for the prevention and treatment of bacterial1 and viral respiratory diseases.2 Those studies have highlighted a number of plant species that may provide promising leads for drug leads against respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. An ongoing study by researchers from the Durban University of Technology and the University of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa have screened 29 compounds identified in several South African plants that are used for multiple medicinal purposes, including respiratory infections.3 That study highlighted four compounds that may inhibit SARS-CoV-2 replication and may therefore be useful as COVID-19 therapeutics. The study focused on molecular docking techniques to detect phytochemicals that bind to SARS-CoV-2 viral proteins. However, it is noteworthy that this is still a preliminary study and the compounds have to be tested in vitro in cell line assays, as well as in vivo in animal models. Read more…