Acta Scientific Microbiology (ISSN: 2581-3226)

Research Article Volume 4 Issue 1

How to Kill A Virus: Strengthening the Immune System, Reducing Inflammation, Relieving Oxidative Stress, Early Detection in the Prevention and Treatment of SARS- CoV-2 (COVID-19)

Jerry T Thornthwaite*

Department of Microbiology, Cancer Research Institute of West Tennessee, USA

*Corresponding Author: Jerry T Thornthwaite, Department of Microbiology, Cancer Research Institute of West Tennessee, USA.

Received: November 04, 2020; Published: January 22, 2021



The bioavailability of important antiviral compounds, their synergism, and boosting the Natural Killer Cells (NKC) are critical in preventing and treating viral diseases. Based on significant research and clinical studies, molecules and elements are identified that enhance their immune modulator activity, specificallythe NKC. These components include Curcumin, Artemisinin, bioflavonoids, Vitamin D3, N-Acetylcysteine, zinc, and selenium, as shown in this review. Increasing the NKC activity, especially in the immunecompromised elderly population, is critical in developing the first defense line against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). When a patient tests COVID-19 positive, proactive treatment can be accomplished to kill the virus. Early detection with the initial measurement of IgA in the nasal passage using a saliva test is critical in the first detection process. Using an analogy from cancer research, one wants to cure cancer before it metastasizes. With COVID-19, the infection must be stopped in the nose before it "metastasizes" to the lungs. The encapsulation of the above components in micelles (3-10nm in diameter) called NutraNanoSpheres (NNS) are protective spheres around the captured molecules inside using fatty acids with hydrophilic heads on the outside, making them thoroughly water-soluble. Therefore, the NNS may be taken orally with no breakdown in the stomach, resulting in high bioavailability into the bloodstream. The NNS can be introduced as a nasal spray to prevent or treat viral infections in the Nasopharynx. We have developed a line of NNS that bind to the Spike protein, which may lead to the neutralization of viruses and viral infected cells. The NNS binding to the virus may attract the NKC to increase their killing ability. Finally, as we have seen with our malaria studies, we may be able to develop “in vivo immunization” by the breaking up of viral components for introduction to all phases of the immune system..

Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; Malaria; NutraNanoSpheres (NNS)



  1. Burton MJ., et al. “Antimicrobial mouthwashes (gargling) and nasal sprays were administered to patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection to improve patient outcomes and protect healthcare workers from treating them”. Cochrane Database System Reviews 9 (2020): CD013627.
  2. Sumathi CS., et al. “The Biological Potentials of Indian Traditional Medicine, Curcumin for Treating Human Diseases”. Cardiovascular and Hematological Agents in Medicinal Chemistry (2017).
  3. Tang Y., et al. “Cytokine Storm in COVID-19: The Current Evidence and Treatment Strategies”. Frontiers in Immunology 11 (2020): 1708.
  4. Cheong DHJ., et al. “Anti-malarial drug, Artemisinin and its derivatives for the treatment of respiratory diseases”. Pharmacology Research 158 (2020): 104901.
  5. Gendrot M., et al. “Antimalarial artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACT) and COVID-19 in Africa: In vitro inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 replication by mefloquine-artesunate”. International Journal of Infectious Diseases 99 (2020): 437-440.
  6. Sehailia M and Chemat S. “Antimalarial-agent artemisinin and derivatives portray more potent binding to Lys353 and Lys31-binding hotspots of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein than Hydroxychloroquine: potential repurposing of artenimol for COVID-19”. Journal of Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics 22 (2020): 1-11.
  7. Cao R., et al. “Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Potential of Artemisinins In Vitro”. ACS Infection Disease9 (2020): 2524-2531.
  8. Uzun T and Toptas O. “Artesunate: could be an alternative drug to chloroquine in COVID-19 treatment? Chinese Medicine 15 (2020): 54.
  9. Devaux CA., et al. “New insights on the antiviral efects of chloroquine against coronavirus: what to expect for COVID19?” International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents (2020).
  10. Aldieri E., et al. “Artemisinin inhibits inducible nitric oxide synthase and nuclear factor NF-kB activation”. FEBS Letter 552 (2003): 141-144.
  11. Meltzer DO., et al. “Association of Vitamin D Deficiency and Treatment with COVID-19 Incidence”. medRxiv 13 (2020): 2020.05.08.20095893.
  12. Baktash V., et al. “Vitamin D status and outcomes for hospitalised older patients with COVID-19”. Postgraduate Medical Journal (2020): postgradmedj-2020-138712.
  13. Goddek S. “Vitamin D3 and K2 and their potential contribution to reducing the COVID-19 mortality rate”. International Journal of Infectious Diseases 99 (2020): 286-290.
  14. Ilie PC., et al. “The role of vitamin D in the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 infection and mortality”. Aging Clinical and Experimental Research7 (2020): 1195-1198.
  15. Ohaegbulam KC., et al. “Vitamin D Supplementation in COVID-19 Patients: A Clinical Case Series”. American Journal of Therapy5 (2020): e485-e490.
  16. Quesada-Gomez JM., et al. “Vitamin D receptor stimulation to reduce acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in patients with coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 infections: Revised Ms SBMB 2020_166”. The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 202 (2020): 105719.
  17. Wessells KR and Brown KH. “Estimating the global prevalence of zinc deficiency: Results based on zinc availability in national food supplies and the prevalence of stunting”. PLoS ONE 7 (2012): e50568.
  18. Black RE. Zinc deficiency, infectious disease and mortality in the developing world”. Journal of Nutrition 133 (2003): 1485s-1489s.
  19. Bhutta ZA. “Iron and zinc deficiency in children in developing countries”. BMJ (Clin. Res. ed.) 334 (2007): 104-105.
  20. Lazzerini M and Wanzira H. “Oral zinc for treating diarrhoea in children”. Cochrane Database System Reviews 12 (2016): CD005436.
  21. Skalny AV., et al. “Zinc and respiratory tract infections: Perspectives for COVID19 (Review)”. International Journal of Molecular Medicine 46 (2020): 17-26.
  22. Lassi ZS., et al. “Zinc supplementation for the prevention of pneumonia in children aged 2 months to 59 months”. Cochrane Database System Reviews 12 (2016): CD005978.
  23. Haider BA., et al. “Zinc supplementation as an adjunct to antibiotics in the treatment of pneumonia in children 2 to 59 months of age”. Cochrane Database System Reviews (2011).
  24. Bhatnagar S., et al. “Zinc as adjunct treatment in infants aged between 7 and 120 days with probable serious bacterial infection: A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial”. Lancet 379 (2012): 2072-2078.
  25. Science M., et al. “Zinc for the treatment of the common cold: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials”. CMAJ 184 (2012): E551-E561.
  26. Hemila H. “Zinc lozenges may shorten the duration of colds: A systematic review”. Open Respiratory Medicine Journal 5 (2011): 51-58.
  27. Basnet S., et al. “Oral zinc and common childhood infections—An update”. Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine and Biology 31 (2015): 163-166.
  28. Shittu MO and Afolami OI. “Improving the efficacy of Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine against SARS-CoV-2 may require Zinc additives - A better synergy for future COVID-19 clinical trials”. Infez Med2 (2020): 192-197.
  29. Alexander J., et al. “Early Nutritional Interventions with Zinc, Selenium and Vitamin D for Raising Anti-Viral Resistance Against Progressive COVID-19”. Nutrients 8 (2020): 2358.
  30. Rahman MT and Idid SZ. “Can Zn Be a Critical Element in COVID-19 Treatment?” Biological Trace Element Research 26 (2020): 1-9.
  31. Tainer JA., et al. “Structure and mechanism of copper, zinc superoxide dismutase”. Nature 306 (1983): 284-287.
  32. Maares M and Haase H. “Zinc and immunity: An essential interrelation”. Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics 611 (2016): 58-65.
  33. Tuerk MJ and Fazel N. “Zinc deficiency”. Current Opinion in Gastroenterology 25 (2009): 136-143.
  34. Kulik L., et al. “Zinc deficiency drives Th17 polarization and promotes loss of Treg cell function”. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 63 (2019): 11-18.
  35. Fairweather-Tait SJ., et al. “Selenium in human health and disease”. Antioxidants and Redox Signaling 14 (2011): 1337-1383.
  36. Beck MA and Matthews CC. “Micronutrients and host resistance to viral infection”. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 59 (2000): 581-585.
  37. Long J., et al. “Dietary Serine Supplementation Regulates Selenoprotein Transcription and Selenoenzyme Activity in Pigs”. Biological Trace Element Research (2020).
  38. Zhang J., et al. “Association between regional selenium status and reported outcome of COVID-19 cases in China”. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 111 (2020): 1297-1299.
  39. Moghaddam A., et al. “Selenium Deficiency Is Associated with Mortality Risk from COVID-19”. Nutrients 12 (2020): 2098.
  40. Gordon DE., et al. “A SARS-CoV-2 protein interaction map reveals targets for drug repurposing”. Nature 583 (2020): 459-468.
  41. Avery JC., et al. “Selenium, Selenoproteins, and Immunity”. Nutrients 10 (2018): 1203.
  42. Beck MA., et al. “Selenium deficiency increases the pathology of an influenza virus infection”. FASEB Journal 15 (2001): 1481-1483.
  43. Seale LA., et al. “A role for selenium-dependent GPX1 in SARS-CoV-2 virulence”. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2020).
  44. Sies H and Parnham MJ. “Potential therapeutic use of ebselen for COVID-19 and other respiratory viral infections”. Free Radical Biology and Medicine 156 (2020): 107-112.
  45. Vavougios GD. “Selenium—Associated gene signatures within the SARS-CoV-2—Host genomic interaction interface”. Free Radical Biology and Medicine (2020).
  46. Pearson H., et al. “SARS: What have we learned?” Nature 424 (2003): 121-126.
  47. Harthill M. “Review: Micronutrient selenium deficiency influences evolution of some viral infectious diseases”. Biological Trace Element Research 143 (2011): 1325-1336.
  48. Ivory K., et al. “Selenium supplementation has beneficial and detrimental effects on immunity to influenza vaccine in older adults”. Clinical Nutrition 36 (2017): 407-415.
  49. Steinbrenner H., et al. “Dietary selenium in adjuvant therapy of viral and bacterial infections”. Advances in Nutrition 6 (2015): 73-82.
  50. Sadowska AM., et al. “Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory efficacy of NAC in the treatment of COPD: discordant in vitro and in vivo dose-effects: a review”. Pulmonary Pharmacology and Therapeutics1 (2007): 9-22.
  51. Szakmany T., et al. “N-acetylcycteine for sepsis and systemic inflamatory response in adults”. Cochrane Database of Systemic Reviews 9 (2012): CD006616.
  52. Ibrahim H., et al. “Therapeutic blockade of inflammation in severe COVID-19 infection with intravenous N- acetylcysteine”. Clinical Immunology 219 (2020): 108544.
  53. De Flora S., et al. “Rationale for the use of N-acetylcysteine in both prevention and adjuvant therapy of COVID-19”. FASEB Journal 11 (2020): 10.1096/fj.202001807.
  54. Horowitz RI and Freeman PR. “Three novel prevention, diagnostic, and treatment options for COVID- 19 urgently necessitating controlled randomized trials”. Medical Hypotheses 143 (2020): 109851.
  55. Colunga Biancatelli RML., et al. “Quercetin and Vitamin C: An Experimental, Synergistic Therapy for the Prevention and Treatment of SARS-CoV-2 Related Disease (COVID-19)”. Frontiers in Immunology 11 (2020): 1451.
  56. Ngwa W., et al. “Potential of Flavonoid-Inspired Phytomedicines against COVID-19”. Molecules 25.11 (2020): 2707.
  57. Russo M., et al. “Roles of flavonoids against coronavirus infection”. Chemico-Biological Interactions 328 (2020): 109211.
  58. Arshad MS., et al. “Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) and Immunity Booster Green Foods: A Mini Review”. Food Science and Nutrition8 (2020): 3971-3976.
  59. Arshad MS., et al. “Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) and Immunity Booster Green Foods: A Mini Review”. Food Science and Nutrition8 (2020): 3971-3976.
  60. Tutunchi H., et al. “Naringenin, a flavanone with antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects: A promising treatment strategy against COVID-19”. Phytotherapy Research (2020).
  61. Alkhatib A. “Antiviral Functional Foods and Exercise Lifestyle Prevention of Coronavirus”. Nutrients 9 (2020): E2633.
  62. Jo S., et al. “Inhibition of SARS-CoV 3CL protease by flavonoids”. Journal of Enzyme Inhibition and Medicinal Chemistry 1 (2020): 145-151.
  63. Muchtaridi M., et al. “Natural Flavonoids as Potential Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 Inhibitors for Anti-SARS-CoV-2”. Molecules17 (2020): 3980.
  64. Williamson G and Kerimi A. “Testing of natural products in clinical trials targeting the SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) viral spike protein-angiotensin converting enzyme-2 (ACE2) interaction”. Biochemical Pharmacology 178 (2020): 114123.
  65. Pandey P., et al. “Targeting SARS-CoV-2 spike protein of COVID-19 with naturally occurring phytochemicals: an in silico study for drug development”. Journal of Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics 22 (2020): 1-11.
  66. Solnier J and Fladerer JP. “Flavonoids: A complementary approach to conventional therapy of COVID-19?” Phytochemical Review 18 (2020): 1-23.
  67. Ghaffari H., et al. “Inhibition of H1N1 influenza virus infection by zinc oxide nanoparticles: another emerging application of nanomedicine”. Journal of Biomedical Science 1 (2019): 70.
  68. Thibado SP., et al. “Anticancer effects of Bilberry anthocyanins compared with NutraNanoSphere encapsulated Bilberry anthocyanins”. Molecular and Clinical Oncology 2 (2018): 330-335.
  69. Thornthwaite JT., et al. “Anticancer Effects of the Curcumin, Artemisinin, Genistein, and Resveratrol, and Vitamin C: Free vs. Liposomal Forms”. Advances in Biological Chemistry 7 (2017): 27-41.
  70. Olufemi EO., et al. “Antimalarial Treatment in South- Western Nigeria”. Microbiology and Infectious Disease 3 (2019): 1-7.
  71. Thornthwaite JT., et al. “DNA Gene Expression to Study Immunologic Mechanisms for the Long-term Cure of Malaria in Babies and Children in South-Western Nigeria”. Advances in Biological Chemistry 9: (2019): 1-20.
  72. Thornthwaite JT and Akanni EO. “Treating Malaria "Once and for All". Journal of Immunology and Immunotherapy 2 (2019): 003.
  73. Thornthwaite JT., et al. “The Natural Killer Cell: Historical Perspective and the use of Supplements to enhance NKC Activity”. Journal of Immune Based Therapies, Vaccines and Antimicrobials 1 (2012): 21-51.
  74. Pilette C., et al. “Lung mucosal immunity: immunoglobulin-A revisited”. European Respiratory Journal 18 (2001): 571-580.
  75. Varadhachary A., et al. “Salivary anti-SARS-CoV-2 IgA as an accessible biomarker of mucosal immunity against COVID-19”. medRxiv (2020).
  76. Hansen CB., et al. “SARS-CoV-2 antibody responses determine disease severity in COVID-19 infected individuals”. BioRxiv (2020).
  77. Ma H., et al. “Serum IgA, IgM, and IgG responses in COVID-19”. Cellular and Molecular Immunology 17 (2020): 773-775.
  78. Yu H., et al. “Distinct features of SARS-CoV-2-specific IgA response in COVID-19 patients”. European Respiratory Journal (2020): 2001526.


Citation: Jerry T Thornthwaite. “How to Kill A Virus: Strengthening the Immune System, Reducing Inflammation, Relieving Oxidative Stress, Early Detection in the Prevention and Treatment of SARS- CoV-2 (COVID-19)”. Acta Scientific Microbiology 4.2 (2021): 06-18.


Acceptance rate33%
Acceptance to publication20-30 days

Indexed In

News and Events

  • Certification for Review
    Acta Scientific certifies the Editors/reviewers for their review done towards the assigned articles of the respective journals.
  • Submission Timeline for Upcoming Issue
    The last date for submission of articles for regular Issues is May 30, 2024.
  • Publication Certificate
    Authors will be issued a "Publication Certificate" as a mark of appreciation for publishing their work.
  • Best Article of the Issue
    The Editors will elect one Best Article after each issue release. The authors of this article will be provided with a certificate of "Best Article of the Issue"
  • Welcoming Article Submission
    Acta Scientific delightfully welcomes active researchers for submission of articles towards the upcoming issue of respective journals.

Contact US