Publication date: Nov 27, 2023
The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the lack of effective treatments against betacoronaviruses and the urgent need for new broad-spectrum antivirals. Natural products are a valuable source of bioactive compounds with pharmaceutical potential that may lead to the discovery of new antiviral agents. Specifically, compared to conventional synthetic molecules, microbial natural extracts possess a unique and vast chemical diversity and are amenable to large-scale production. The implementation of a high-throughput screening platform using the betacoronavirus OC43 in a human cell line infection model has provided proof of concept of the approach and has allowed for the rapid and efficient evaluation of 1,280 microbial extracts. The identification of several active compounds validates the potential of the platform for the search for new compounds with antiviral capacity.