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New published study identifies potential COVID-19 treatment

Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine virologists Yunjeong Kim, front, and Kyeong-Ok "KC" Chang have joined collaborators at Wichita State University, University of Iowa and University of Kansas in publishing a study on a possible therapeutic treatment for COVID-19. Credit: Kansas State University

Yunjeong Kim and Kyeong-Ok "KC" Chang, virologists in the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University, have published a study showing a possible therapeutic treatment for COVID-19.

Pathogenic coronaviruses are a major threat to global public health, as shown by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus, or SARS-CoV; Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, known as MERS-CoV; and the newly emerged SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 infection.

The study, "3C-like protease inhibitors block coronavirus replication in vitro and improve survival in MERS-CoV-infected mice," appears in the Aug. 3 issue of the prestigious medical journal Science Translational Medicine. It reveals how small molecule protease inhibitors show potency against human coronaviruses. These coronavirus 3C-like proteases, known as 3CLpro, are strong therapeutic targets because they play vital roles in coronavirus replication.

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