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SARS-CoV-2 may acquire antiviral drug resistance: Experts' latest warning on coronavirus

The virus may then be exposed to the river water containing antiviral drugs, inducing antiviral selective pressures and mutations in the virus leading to antiviral drug resistance.

Published: 03rd July 2020 02:22 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd July 2020 10:48 AM   |  A+A-

Coronavirus Frontline Workers

Representational image (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: SARS-CoV-2 is potentially capable of acquiring antiviral drug resistance in animal reservoirs among bats and pangolins in the event of exposure to surface waters contaminated with antiviral drugs during the Covid-19 pandemic, experts warned.

In an article published in the American Chemical Society (ACS),  a group of researchers, including from India, emphasised that animals that are a natural reservoir of viruses, including bats, camels, cats, pangolins and pigs, may then be exposed to the river water containing antiviral drugs, inducing antiviral selective pressures and mutations in the virus leading to antiviral drug resistance.

The article highlights that as the intense search for effective drugs against the novel coronavirus is progressing worldwide, several antiviral and antiparasitic drugs, including those for Ebola (remdesivir), influenza (favipiravir, oseltamivir), HIV (lopinavir/ritonavir), and malaria (chloroquine), have undergone clinical trials on Covid-19 patients.

“Since these drugs and their metabolites are mostly excreted in urine, there is the potential for discharge to the environment depending on removal efficiency at wastewater treatment plants,” the paper said.  

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