Bee products as a source of promising therapeutic and chemoprophylaxis strategies against COVID-19

Bee products as a source of promising therapeutic and chemoprophylaxis strategies against COVID-19

Abstract:

The emergence of novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in 2019 in China marked the third outbreak of a highly pathogenic coronavirus infecting humans. The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) spread worldwide, becoming an emergency of major international concern. However, even after a decade of coronavirus research, there are still no licensed vaccines or therapeutic agents to treat the coronavirus infection. In this context, apitherapy presents as a promising source of pharmacological and nutraceutical agents for the treatment and/or prophylaxis of COVID-19. For instance, several honeybee products, such as honey, pollen, propolis, royal jelly, beeswax, and bee venom, have shown potent antiviral activity against pathogens that cause severe respiratory syndromes, including those caused by human coronaviruses. In addition, the benefits of these natural products to the immune system are remarkable, and many of them are involved in the induction of antibody production, maturation of immune cells, and stimulation of the innate and adaptive immune responses. Thus, in the absence of specific antivirals against SARS-CoV-2, apitherapy could offer one hope toward mitigating some of the risks associated with COVID-19.

KEYWORDS

antiviral, bee venom, beeswax, COVID-19, honey, honeybees, pollen, propolis, royal jelly

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