“Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is evolving across the world and new treatments are urgently needed as with vaccines to prevent the illness and stem the contagion. The virus affects not only the lungs but also other tissues, thus lending support to the idea that COVID-19 is a systemic disease. The current vaccine and treatment development strategies ought to consider such systems medicine perspectives rather than a narrower focus on the lung infection only.
COVID-19 is associated with elevated levels of the inflammatory cytokines such as interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-10, and interferon-gamma (IFN-γ). Elevated levels of cytokines and the cytokine storm have been linked to fatal disease. This suggests new therapeutic strategies through blocking the cytokine storm. IL-6 is one of the major cytokines associated with the cytokine storm. IL-6 is also known to display pleiotropic/diverse pathophysiological effects. We suggest the blockage of IL-6 signaling and its downstream mediators such as Janus kinases (JAKs), and signal transducer and activators of transcription (STATs) offer potential hope for the treatment of severe cases of COVID-19. Thus, repurposing of already approved IL-6-JAK-STAT signaling inhibitors as well as other anti-inflammatory drugs, including dexamethasone, is under development for severe COVID-19 cases.
We conclude this expert review by highlighting the potential role of precision herbal medicines, for example, the Cannabis sativa, provided that omics technologies can be utilized to build a robust scientific evidence base on their clinical safety and efficacy. Precision herbal medicine buttressed by omics systems science would also help identify new molecular targets for drug discovery against COVID-19.”
“Cannabis sativa is a plant known to contain anti-inflammatory compounds such as cannabinoid cannabidiol. In addition to other compounds such as terpenes, these compounds have been suggested to have potential anticancer properties. Like other herbal plants, we suggest C. sativa warrants further mechanistic research in relationship to putative effects in COVID-19.”