Study: A common anti-Covid-19 drug around the world may have led to viral mutations Study: A common anti-Covid-19 drug around the world may have led to viral mutations

Study: A common anti-Covid-19 drug around the world may have led to viral mutations

Study: A common anti-Covid-19 drug around the world may have led to viral mutations

An antiviral drug used to treat Covid-19 around the world may have caused mutations in the virus, but there is no evidence that the changes led to more dangerous strains, researchers said.

The antiviral drug Molnupiravir, produced by the American pharmaceutical giant Merck, is one of the oldest treatments introduced during the pandemic to prevent the worsening of Covid-19 disease in vulnerable people.

The drug, which is taken orally over five days, works primarily by causing mutations in the virus with the aim of weakening and killing it.

However, a new study led by researchers from the United Kingdom shows that molnupiravir can lead to "the emergence of significantly mutated viruses that remain viable," lead author Theo Sanderson told AFP.

The researchers say their findings are useful in continually evaluating the risks and benefits of treatment with molnupiravir.

Although the drug does not pose an immediate risk to those taking it, the study may have important implications for the future direction of the epidemic.

Using global databases to map virus mutations, researchers found changes in the virus that appear very different from typical patterns of Covid-19 mutations.

According to the results published in the journal Nature, the mutations were strongly associated with people who took the drug "molnupiravir."

In addition, these mutations increased in 2022, coinciding with the emergence of the drug "molnupiravir."

“Our findings show that molnupiravir creates genetically divergent viruses capable of not only replication but transmission, with consequences unknown to the global public,” said Ryan Hesner, a masters student in bioinformatics at the University of Cape Town.

He added that this should have been a greater concern when the drug was tested in clinical trials, and regulators now need to be proactive in monitoring the effects of drugs that work by causing mutations.

Since molnupiravir was proposed as a treatment, some experts have raised concerns that it may accelerate the creation of new variants of concern, but there is no evidence that it has led to this.

“Our work is important because it shows that molnupiravir treatment can give rise to significantly mutated viruses that remain viable, and in some cases, transmissible,” explained Theo Sanderson, lead author and postdoctoral researcher at the Francis Crick Institute. “We have found that molnupiravir can “It can lead to the emergence of large numbers of mutations over a short period of time. It is important to note that mutations are not inherently bad, but rather can make the virus less effective at replicating (which is the intended action of molnupiravir) and more.”

The study, conducted by researchers at the Francis Crick Institute, the University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, the University of Liverpool, the University of Cape Town and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), found that mutations were more likely in older age groups, consistent with the use of antiviral drugs. To treat people most at risk.

The researchers stressed that "molnupiravir" does not pose a risk to those currently taking the drug. They also did not call for abandoning the drug completely.

Five misdiagnosed symptoms that may indicate bone cancer

Experts warn that primary bone cancer is often initially misdiagnosed as a minor health problem, making it difficult to detect in the early stages.

But there are some warning signs to look for to give the patient the best chance of diagnosing the condition before it spreads.

According to the Bone Cancer Research Trust (BCRT), the five most common symptoms include:

- Constant or intermittent bone pain, which often gets worse at night

- A lump, swelling, or inflammation over the bone

- Movement problems, such as joint stiffness or reduced mobility

- Unexplained limp or decreased range of motion

- Being easily bruised

Some patients may also experience fatigue, sweating, fever, weight loss, loss of muscle strength, and bone fractures.

Experts say the symptoms of primary bone cancer are often confused with growing pains, sports injuries, arthritis, tendonitis and muscle strain.

Bone cancer can start in any bone in the body, but it most commonly affects the pelvis or the long bones in the arms and legs.

Bone cancer is actually rare, making up less than 1% of all cancers. According to the Mayo Clinic, non-cancerous bone tumors appear more commonly than cancerous tumors.

Primary bone cancer is often called sarcoma. There are several different types of sarcoma, each of which distinguishes a different layer of bone. The most common are osteosarcoma, Ewing sarcoma, chondrosarcoma, and chordoma (chondrosarcoma). Chordoma) is a rare form that is often diagnosed in adults.

Early diagnosis of the disease greatly improves outcomes for cancer patients, and reduces the need for potentially life-changing treatment and surgery, according to the Bone Cancer Research Fund.

Treatment depends on the type and stage of cancer, but often includes surgery, chemotherapy, stem cell transplant, radiotherapy, and proton beam therapy.

A link has been discovered between autism in only one gender and the consumption of a common artificial sweetener during pregnancy

A new study reveals that pregnant or breastfeeding women who consume foods and drinks containing aspartame could experience higher rates of autism diagnosis in their children.

Aspartame, an artificial sweetener found in many ultra-processed drinks such as diet soda, is approximately 200 times sweeter than sugar, but with much fewer calories.

Researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio found that boys diagnosed with autism whose mothers were three times more likely to report drinking at least one can of diet soda, or consuming a similar amount of aspartame in other foods, daily.

“Our study does not prove causation,” lead author Sharon Barton-Fowler, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, said in an interview with Fox News. “It does not prove that maternal consumption of diet soft drinks and aspartame in particular... Identification during pregnancy or breastfeeding increases a child's risk of developing autism, but raises an important warning sign.

In the study, researchers analyzed the reported aspartame consumption of mothers of 235 children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

They then compared these results to a control group of 121 children with “typical neurodevelopment.”

Compared to neurotypical children, males with autism are three times more exposed to aspartame-sweetened products on a daily basis while in the womb or while breastfeeding.

“We saw these associations with autism in boys but not with autism in girls,” Fowler noted. “We also found these associations for boys with autism spectrum disorder, but not for all boys with any autism spectrum disorder (ASD) — which is an umbrella category.” "It includes less serious, life-altering conditions, such as Asperger's Syndrome, as well as more serious conditions classified as autistic disorder."

Fowler said that this is not the first paper to warn against women consuming these products during pregnancy, as they have been associated with increased health risks in children, including an increased risk of prematurity, as well as an increased risk of overweight or obesity, from infancy through later childhood.

Fowler revealed: “A recent study showed that artificial sweeteners used in diet drinks have been found within the amniotic fluid surrounding the baby in the womb, and within the blood in the baby’s umbilical cord. This proves that when a woman drinks these food sweeteners, they enter the uterus itself, and into the fluid.” "In which the baby floats. It may become more concentrated there than in the mother's blood."

In light of the results of human and animal studies, Fowler urges women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or considering becoming pregnant to avoid drinks containing aspartame as a precaution.

"Although we don't have the final answers yet, women can act now based on available data to protect their unborn children," she said.

Fowler emphasized that the best drink for pregnant or breastfeeding women is water, with the possibility of adding natural flavors, such as fresh lemon or orange slices, or crushed mint leaves.


  1. A study suggests the antiviral drug Molnupiravir used for COVID-19 treatment may induce viral mutations, raising concerns about its long-term implications, while another study links aspartame consumption during pregnancy to higher rates of autism in boys.

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