Carrageenan, is a polymer derived from red seaweed which helps to create a protective physical barrier in the nasal cavity and has proven to be an effective antiviral in the treatment of the common cold. The present study assessed the efficacy of Carrageenan against influenza viruses, including the pandemic H1N1 influenza strain. Results showed that the polymer directly binds to influenza viruses, effectively blocking the virus from attaching to cells and spreading further. In animal experiments, Carrageenan demonstrated equivalent efficacy when compared to the drug Tamiflu.
Carrageen red seaweed (Chondrus crispus). The thallus (plant body) of this seaweed is dichotomously branched. This seaweed is found on rocky shores around the British and Irish coasts. When exposed to strong sunlight it turns a yellow or green colour.
“Influenza viruses still represent a substantial threat to public health on a global scale and with increasing viral resistance to Tamiflu, the need for alternatives has never been greater,” commented Dr. Andreas Grassauer, CEO and co-founder of Marinomed. “This study confirms that iota-carrageenan can be used as an alternative to neuraminidase inhibitors and should be further tested for prevention and treatment of influenza A in clinical trials in humans.”
About Marinomed Biotechnologie GmbH
Marinomed Biotechnologie GmbH was founded in 2006 and develops therapies against respiratory diseases based on an innovative anti-viral respiratory technology platform. The usability of this safe and effective technology has been proven by its first marketed product: an anti-viral nasal spray. The huge potential of the technology is reflected by Marinomed´s additional products concentrating on influenza, combination products for asthmatics and other high-risk patients. In addition, the Company develops a novel treatment against type I allergy and autoimmune diseases. Marinomed Biotechnologie GmbH is a spin-off from the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna and is located in Vienna, Austria. For further information, please visit the website at www.marinomed.com.
Source: Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien
Citation: The research article entitled “Iota-Carrageenan is a Potent Inhibitor of Influenza A Virus Infection” by Andreas Leibbrandt, Christiane Meier, Marielle König-Schuster, Regina Weinmüllner, Donata Kalthoff, Bettina Pflugfelder, Philipp Graf, Britta Frank-Gehrke, Martin Beer, Tamas Fazekas, Hermann Unger, Eva Prieschl Grassauer and Andreas Grassauer appears online in the open access journal PLoS ONE: http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0014320.