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Pharmaceutics ; 13(4)2021 Apr 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1178386


Sialic acid that presents on the surface of lung epithelial cells is considered as one of the main binding targets for many respiratory viruses, including influenza and the current coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) through the viral surface protein hemagglutinin. Gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) are extensively used in the diagnostic field owing to a phenomenon known as 'surface plasmonic resonance' in which the scattered light is absorbed by these NPs and can be detected via UV-Vis spectrophotometry. Consequently, sialic acid conjugated Au NPs (SA-Au NPs) were utilized for their plasmonic effect against SARS-CoV-2, influenza B virus, and Middle-East respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (MERS) in patients' swab samples. The SA-Au NPs system was prepared by a one-pot synthesis method, through which the NPs solution color changed from pale yellow to dark red wine color, indicting its successful preparation. In addition, the SA-Au NPs had an average particle size of 30 ± 1 nm, negative zeta potential (-30 ± 0.3 mV), and a UV absorbance of 525 nm. These NPs have proven their ability to change the color of the NPs solutions and patients' swabs that contain SARS-CoV-2, influenza B, and MERS viruses, suggesting a rapid and straightforward detection tool that would reduce the spread of these viral infections and accelerate the therapeutic intervention.