Certain sugars, used as blood thinners, can be used to prevent infection from the coronavirus. This is apparent from a study by Amsterdam UMC, which was published in the scientific journal The Embo Journal.
The researchers discovered that the coronavirus needs so-called heparansulphates (sugar structures) to bind to cells. In addition, the virus ‘sticks’ via these sugar structures to immune cells circulating in the body, causing it to spread throughout the body.
Using small pieces of those heparan sulfates as blood thinners can help prevent the infection. These types of blood thinners have long been used to treat blood clots in thrombosis, stroke and infarction. It is currently being investigated whether a ‘puff’ in the mouth and nose can prevent infection with the virus. According to the researchers, people whose vaccines don’t work may benefit from this.
Other variants and other viruses could also be blocked in this way.