Strong anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity of Lucilia cuprina maggots’ excretion/secretion and its effect on viral entry and notch pathway in vitro: First work

Mohammad R. K. Abdel-Samad Fatma A. Taher Mahmoud Shehata Noura M. Abo Shama Ahmed Mostafa Mohamed A. Ali Iman H. Ibrahim   

Open Access   

Published:  Jun 19, 2022


The global pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 requires new lines of treatment to hinder viral entry and pathogenesis. Lucilia cuprina maggots’ excretion/secretion (E/S) contains proteases and antioxidants, among other active ingredients that contribute to its antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral activity. This study aims to assess the potential effects of E/S on the entry and molecular pathogenesis of a SARS-CoV-2 isolate “NRC-03-nhCoV” in vitro for the first time. E/S was obtained from the collected maggots of L. cuprina that were maintained under controlled laboratory conditions. The E/S was used to treat VERO-E6 cells infected with SARS-CoV-2. The predicted antiviral activity of the E/S and the expression of the Notch pathway and viral pathogenesis-related genes were assessed at three time points. E/S showed potential antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 (IC50 = 0.324 µg/ml) with a high selectivity index value (SI = 572.997). Serine protease present in E/S was predicted to interact with transmembrane protease, serine 2 and cathepsin B. E/S was able to significantly downregulate Notch-related genes, SUMO1, and TDG in SARS-CoV-2-infected cells, shifting their expression toward levels of the control. Therefore, E/S of L. cuprina maggots is a potential strong inhibitor for SARS-CoV-2.

Keyword:     SARS-CoV-2 TEMPRSS2 cathepsin B Notch pathway Lucilia cuprina maggots excretion/secretion.


Abdel-Samad MRK, Taher FA, Shehata M, Abo Shama NM, Mostafa A, Ali MA, Ibrahim IH. Strong anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity of Lucilia cuprina maggots’ excretion/secretion and its effect on viral entry and notch pathway in vitro: First work. J Appl Pharm Sci, 2022; 12(07):122–130.

Copyright: © The Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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