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Increased cleanliness, facial protection, & social-distancing restrictions have all contributed to the ‘flattening of the coronavirus disease case curve.’ however, this year has been the year of developments on various facets. Primarily, we have discovered new hygiene practices, cleanliness norms, and antiviral testing.

Pandemic virus eradication is only achievable with preventive vaccinations. Antiviral medicines (mainly small molecules & neutralizing antibodies) can only help decrease infection-related morbidity and death. But to identify the cause, a test is necessary. The tests might vary from disease to disease, but we most commonly get done with the antiviral assays.

If you have been looking about the antiviral tests, then continue reading further.

Overview:

To detect infection-causing viruses, a viral test is performed. Viruses can only reproduce in live cells, and thus they cause illness by killing or injuring the cells.

They infect the immune system, altering the cells’ genetic material (DNA) or producing inflammation that might harm an organ. Viruses are responsible for various illnesses, including the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), cold sores, chickenpox, influenza (flu), and others.

For antiviral tests, many sorts of samples are used. Blood, spinal fluid, feces, organ tissue, urine, and saliva are among them. The kind of infection present determines the type of sample utilized for the test.

Why are these tests necessary?

It is not a question of ‘Why,’ but when new pathogenic epidemics will emerge in the future, how prepared will we be?

As a result, medicines and vaccinations against viruses, bacteria, and other diseases must develop pandemic potential ahead of time.

SARS-CoV-1, chikungunya, Middle East respiratory syndrome, H1N1 virus, coronavirus, Ebola virus, and Zika virus pandemic preparedness programs are based on lessons learned from multiple epidemics over the last two decades.

Why do we need them ahead of time?

The high infectivity of viruses contrasts with the typically delayed development of new antivirals and vaccines—especially those based on innovative technology or pharmacological classes.

Additional time-consuming issues include the necessity for thorough safety review and the increased research of antiviral testing and vaccine production capacity in the event of a pandemic.

The cost associated with the development of new antiviral agents has raised some arguments like: 

The development of drugs & other pathogens to cope up with pandemic potential is impossible.

Viruses can mutate over time, so it can render the treatments less effective or even ineffective.

Although a proactive strategy necessitates a significant upfront financial commitment, it is the best option for readiness.

On the one hand, traditional vaccines have a significant advantage over novel vaccine formats: researchers can draw on a large body of relevant experience (especially safety data) and similar structures for humans.

This prior experience will most certainly hasten the approval of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines based on conventional vaccine platforms, and their mass manufacturing will benefit from the readily available infrastructure.

Nonetheless, like with any novel drug, their early development necessitates significant research. On the other hand, genetic vaccines have already demonstrated substantial effectiveness in preclinical models and benefit antigen design flexibility, speed, antiviral testing, and quick production.

Bottlenecks in the development:

  • Vaccine development is a difficult task. Early-stage preclinical research of clinical trial testing, approval for human use, and post-marketing studies make the process lengthy.
  • Each step of development has its own set of problems, which contributes to the total length of the project. Early studies attempt to explain the vaccine’s safety & efficacy in animals. Again, this can take decades to complete; for example, preclinical research for developing HIV vaccine has continued for over 40 years.

Overall, the duration of this legal procedure is a significant impediment to creating a safe and effective vaccine to combat transmission.

Researchers, pharmaceutical firms, & the related regulatory agencies are coordinating at every level for an unprecedented reform of the vaccine development process.

Preclinical testing may be condensed into a considerably shorter period when investigating vaccination methods and anti-viral tests for similar diseases. The speed with which the three phases of clinical testing may be performed is determined by various circumstances, including the available time.

The incidence of the condition in the target population is a significant element in studies. It affects the size of the research and the length of follow-up required to collect convincing results.

According to GMP (Good manufacturing practice) standards, the methods for creating the suitable production scale are vital concerns throughout the approval process. Finally, widespread vaccination distribution and the necessary education and laws to urge most people to obtain the vaccine are critical concerns.

Policymakers and the pharmaceutical sector must understand the importance of continuous and well-organized global pandemic preparation to avert or reduce the impacts of future pandemics. Monitoring natural reservoirs of diseases with pandemic potential and increasing communication between national and international centers should all be part of the plan.

One sure shot way is- keeping enough reservoir for anti-viral tests and related drugs!

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