The 2020 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Global Pandemic, a Call to Arms to Pharmacognosy Researchers – Plant-Based Antiviral Approaches


Pharmacognosy Communications,2021,11,1,2-8.
Published:January 2021

The 2020 Coronavirus (COVID-19) Global Pandemic, a Call to Arms to Pharmacognosy Researchers – Plant-Based Antiviral Approaches

Sean R Alcorn

School of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, QUM Network, Griffith University, Gold Coast, AUSTRALIA.


Background: The unprecedented modern pandemic that is COVID-19 has awakened a global fear of viral disease and an activation of viral targeted drug discovery not seen before in modern times. Whilst the vaccines about to enter the market, are an important component of the strategy to combat COVID-19, vaccination should be considered a part of a wider strategy to address this and future zoonotic viral outbreaks. Plant-based approaches may provide valuable avenues for viral disease management. Methods: This commentary combines an appraisal of the existing literature with the authors thoughts on key challenges that pharmacognosy may be able to assist with, in the management of zoonotic viral disease. Results: There are many avenues for plant-based antiviral research in the context of the present COVID-19 pandemic. This narrative review discusses the use of plant-based approaches; as viral drug leads, as agents for managing the cytokine storm associated with acute respiratory distress syndrome, as agents for elimination of viral reservoirs and as agents in hand sanitisation. Conclusion: Whilst the arrival of vaccines is an important step in the response to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Pharmacognosy still has a role to play in the management of this and future viral pandemics. The support of researchers in this domain is needed to combat viral pandemics via arming clinicians with a broader range of options for prevention and treatment of viral illness on a global scale.

Founded:  In 2004, as the PHCOG.NET – a non-profit private organization dedicated to Natural Products Research leading to develop promising drugs. Our main mission is to make information on herbal drug research readily available in different formats to suit the individual needs.

Pharmacognosy Communications [Phcog Commn.] is a new quarterly journal published by Phcog.Net. It is a peer reviewed journal aiming to publish high quality original research articles, methods, techniques and evaluation reports, critical reviews, short communications, commentaries and editorials of all aspects of medicinal plant research. The journal is aimed at a broad readership, publishing articles on all aspects of pharmacognosy, and related fields. The journal aims to increase understanding of pharmacognosy as well as to direct and foster further research through the dissemination of scientific information by the  publication of manuscripts. The submission of original contributions in all areas of pharmacognosy are welcome.

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Subjects Covered : Natural Products, Pharmacognosy, Phytochemistry, Marine Pharmacognosy and Zoo Pharmacognosy
ISSN :2249-0159 (Print) ; 2249-0167 (Online) Frequency : Quarterly Rapid at a time publication (4 issues/year)

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