Coronaviruses (CoVs) act as cross-species viruses and have the potential to spread rapidly into new host species and cause epidemic diseases. Despite the severe public health threat of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus and Middle East respiratory syndrome CoV (MERS-CoV), there are currently no drugs available for their treatment; therefore, broad-spectrum inhibitors of emerging and endemic CoVs are urgently needed. To search for effective inhibitory agents, we performed high-throughput screening (HTS) of a 2,000-compound library of approved drugs and pharmacologically active compounds using the established genetically engineered human CoV OC43 (HCoV-OC43) strain expressing Renilla luciferase (rOC43-ns2Del-Rluc) and validated the inhibitors using multiple genetically distinct CoVs in vitro. We screened 56 hits from the HTS data and validated 36 compounds in vitro using wild-type HCoV-OC43. Furthermore, we identified seven compounds (lycorine, emetine, monensin sodium, mycophenolate mofetil, mycophenolic acid, phenazopyridine, and pyrvinium pamoate) as broad-spectrum inhibitors according to their strong inhibition of replication by four CoVs in vitro at low-micromolar concentrations. Additionally, we found that emetine blocked MERS-CoV entry according to pseudovirus entry assays and that lycorine protected BALB/c mice against HCoV-OC43-induced lethality by decreasing viral load in the central nervous system. This represents the first demonstration of in vivo real-time bioluminescence imaging to monitor the effect of lycorine on the spread and distribution of HCoV-OC43 in a mouse model. These results offer critical information supporting the development of an effective therapeutic strategy against CoV infection..
Кстати- интересная деталь- коронавирусы поражают не только респираторную систему, но и желудочно-кишечную, и ЦНС. У родственника Ковид-19, САРС, такая способность обнаружена была.