Chinese researchers build animal model for COVID-19 treatment selection

Source: Xinhua| 2020-03-27 18:05:18|Editor: huaxia

BEIJING, March 27 (Xinhua) -- Researchers at a Chinese medicine laboratory have built a mice model to evaluate the effect of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) on COVID-19.

The ABSL-2 laboratory of the Institute of Chinese Materia Medica under the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences constructed the cold-dampness symptom mice model by simulating the weather conditions in central China's city of Wuhan during the epidemic outbreak period.

The researchers made the mice get infected by the human coronavirus HCoV-229E and copied the animal model, which had similar pathologic changes with the COVID-19, according to a report of Science and Technology Daily.

They evaluated the TCM treatment effects by monitoring the indicators of the virus, gastrointestinal functions, immunity and inflammatory factors. The results showed that the selected medicines can remarkably reduce the inflammatory injuries in mice lungs and the viral load of the lung tissue, as well as improving the proportion of immune cells in peripheral blood.

TCM has a different set of considerations when it comes to identifying, fighting, and preventing disease. "TCM treatment focuses on the symptoms caused by the virus, rather than the type of the virus," explained Cui Xiaolan, the director of the laboratory.

Based on the model, there have been 16 kinds of TCM selected in COVID-19 treatment.

Clinical observation showed that TCM has proven to be effective in the treatment of over 90 percent of all confirmed COVID-19 cases on the Chinese mainland, according to Yu Yanhong, Party chief of the National Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Zhang Boli, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said Western medicine offers important life-supporting measures such as respiratory and circulatory support, while TCM focuses on improving physical conditions and immune function.