Single Administration Therapeutic Interfering Particle (TIP) Reduces Covid-19 Viral Shedding & Pathogenesis in Hamsters

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) recently published a study showing:


“The high transmissibility of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a primary driver of the COVID-19 pandemic. While existing interventions prevent severe disease, they exhibit mixed efficacy in preventing transmission, presumably due to their limited antiviral effects in the respiratory mucosa, whereas interventions targeting the sites of viral replication might more effectively limit respiratory virus transmission. Recently, intranasally administered RNA-based therapeutic interfering particles (TIPs) were reported to suppress SARS-CoV-2 replication, exhibit a high barrier to resistance, and prevent serious disease in hamsters. Since TIPs intrinsically target the tissues with the highest viral replication burden (i.e., respiratory tissues for SARS-CoV-2), we tested the potential of TIP intervention to reduce SARS-CoV-2 shedding. Here, we report that a single, postexposure TIP dose lowers SARS-CoV-2 nasal shedding, and at 5 days postinfection, infectious virus shed is below detection limits in 4 out of 5 infected animals. Furthermore, TIPs reduce shedding of Delta variant or WA-1 from infected to uninfected hamsters. Cohoused “contact” animals exposed to infected, TIP-treated animals exhibited significantly lower viral loads, reduced inflammatory cytokines, no severe lung pathology, and shortened shedding duration compared to animals cohoused with untreated infected animals. TIPs may represent an effective countermeasure to limit SARS-CoV-2 transmission.”

%d bloggers like this: