IMR Press / FBL / Volume 27 / Issue 11 / DOI: 10.31083/j.fbl2711306
Open Access Review
Aptamer-Mediated Antiviral Approaches for SARS-CoV-2
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1 GenScript Biotech (Singapore) Pte. Ltd., 349248 Singapore, Singapore
2 CQM - Centro de Química da Madeira, MMRG, Universidade da Madeira, Campus da Penteada, 9020-105 Funchal, Portugal
3 School of Materials Science and Engineering, Center for Nano Energy Materials, Northwestern Polytechnical University, 710072 Xi’an, Shaanxi, China
4 Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, TN 37996, USA
*Correspondence: michael-danquah@utc.edu (Michael K. Danquah)
Academic Editor: Sang Heui Seo
Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2022, 27(11), 306; https://doi.org/10.31083/j.fbl2711306
Submitted: 23 May 2022 | Revised: 23 October 2022 | Published: 15 November 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccine and anti-viral drug development for SARS-CoV2)
Copyright: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by IMR Press.
This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license.
Abstract

2020 and 2021 were disastrous years across the world, with the emergence of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‑CoV‑2) virus as a pandemic, which continues to be a top global health issue. There are still many countries and regions struggling to fight coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and, with the emergence of the various variants of the virus, we are still far from considering this global pandemic over. In addition to having good diagnostic tools and a variety of vaccines with high efficacy, it is of utmost importance to develop effective antiviral drugs or therapies to battle COVID-19. Aptamers known as the next-generation targeting elements can offer promising opportunities in developing antiviral drugs against SARS-CoV-2. This is owing to their high specificity and affinity, making them ideal for targeting ligands and neutralizers to impede both, viral entry and replication or even further enhance the anti-infection effects in the infected host cells. Also, aptamers are extremely attractive as they can be rapidly synthesized and scalable with a lower production cost. This work provides in-depth discussions on the potential of aptamers in therapeutic applications, their mode of action, and current progress on the use of aptamer-based therapies against SARS-CoV-2 and other viruses. The article also discusses the limitations associated with aptamer-based SARS-CoV-2-antiviral therapy with several proposed ideas to resolve them. Lastly, theranostic applications of aptamer nanoformulated dendrimers against viral infections are discussed.

Keywords
aptamers
antiviral drug
SARS-CoV-2
viral infection
dendrimer
nanoformulation
Funding
UIDB/00674/2020/FCT-Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
Figures
Fig. 1.
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