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Antiviral and Immunomodulatory Properties of Medicinal Mushrooms with Reference to Their Role in Treating COVID-19 Infections

Shivi Bhasin, Arvind Shukla


Emerging, respiratory coronavirus like severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), producing the disease COVID-19 has become the major cause of posing biological threat to mankind in today’s world. It is referred as typical pneumonia associated inflammatory infection of lungs with high morbidity and mortality rate in humans. The virus has affected more than 200 countries across the world leading to death of more that 32,000,00 people across the globe, as a result of which it was declared as a pandemic by WHO in February 2020. From, past one year countries around the world are trying hard to find a specific mode of treatment or prevention against the deadly virus either in form of drug or vaccine but unfortunately no accurate prevention or treatment has been registered as yet. From the analysed data, it is clear that maladjusted immune response like influx of cytokine detrimental antigen presentation by dendritic cells, reduction in the count of T and B are the major reasons for impaired pulmonary infections during COVID-19. Now, the possible mode of treatment should involve a component which has the capacity to counter-balance these ill effects. Medicinal mushrooms are one such entities which have continuously occupied the headlines in the books of traditional medicines due to their miraculous powers. The finding of the review shed light on the nutritional components of medicinal mushrooms, which are in turn responsible for imparting various therapeutic properties like anti-cancerous, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory temperaments to the medicinal mushrooms. The current review is a serious and sincere, attempt to understand the qualities and properties of medicinal mushrooms which can be exploited for treating COVID-19. The article also tries to explore different products which can be synthesized by using the extracts of these medicinal mushrooms and can be used for treating COVID-19. However, gaining deeper knowledge about medicinal mushrooms, methods to increase their cultivation, production of transgenic and genetically modified mushroom is the time’s call, so that we can use them for the production of different antiviral drugs which indeed will help to combat COVID-19 infections.

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