A study on the effect of natural products against the transmission of B.1.1.529 Omicron

Samar Sami Alkafaas*, Abanoub Mosaad Abdallah, Aya Misbah Hussien, Heba Bedair, Mahmoud Abdo, Soumya Ghosh*, Sara Samy Elkafas, Wilgince Apollon, Morteza Saki, Samah A. Loutfy, Helen Onyeaka*, Mohamed Hessien

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Background: The recent outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic resulted in a successful vaccination program launched by the World Health Organization. However, a large population is still unvaccinated, leading to the emergence of mutated strains like alpha, beta, delta, and B.1.1.529 (Omicron). Recent reports from the World Health Organization raised concerns about the Omicron variant, which emerged in South Africa during a surge in COVID-19 cases in November 2021. Vaccines are not proven completely effective or safe against Omicron, leading to clinical trials for combating infection by the mutated virus. The absence of suitable pharmaceuticals has led scientists and clinicians to search for alternative and supplementary therapies, including dietary patterns, to reduce the effect of mutated strains. Main body: This review analyzed Coronavirus aetiology, epidemiology, and natural products for combating Omicron. Although the literature search did not include keywords related to in silico or computational research, in silico investigations were emphasized in this study. Molecular docking was implemented to compare the interaction between natural products and Chloroquine with the ACE2 receptor protein amino acid residues of Omicron. The global Omicron infection proceeding SARS-CoV-2 vaccination was also elucidated. The docking results suggest that DGCG may bind to the ACE2 receptor three times more effectively than standard chloroquine. Conclusion: The emergence of the Omicron variant has highlighted the need for alternative therapies to reduce the impact of mutated strains. The current review suggests that natural products such as DGCG may be effective in binding to the ACE2 receptor and combating the Omicron variant, however, further research is required to validate the results of this study and explore the potential of natural products to mitigate COVID-19. Graphical abstract:
Original languageEnglish
Article number191
JournalVirology Journal
Issue number1
Early online date25 Aug 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Aug 2023


  • Molecular docking
  • Omicron
  • Vaccine
  • In silico
  • Natural product
  • COVID-19


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