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Can Giloy Boost Immunity, Fight COVID? IISER Bhopal Researchers Find Out

By: Education and Careers Desk


Last Updated: September 06, 2021, 15:55 IST

New Delhi

Giloy (Tinospora cordifolia) (Image: Shutterstock)

Giloy (Tinospora cordifolia) (Image: Shutterstock)

Giloy has therapeutic applications for all symptomatic or asymptomatic patients infected with COVID-19, IISER Bhopal says.

Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Bhopal researchers have sequenced the genome of Giloy (Tinospora cordifolia), a plant with medicinal properties. Giloy has therapeutic applications for all symptomatic or asymptomatic patients infected with COVID-19. It is also used in fever and diabetes, says the institute.

Previous studies have shown that a compound from Giloy was reported to target the two proteases of SARS-CoV-2 virus namely Mpro and Spike proteases, and another compound was predicted to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 Mpro and also disrupts viral spike protein and host ACE-2 interaction. Treatment with Giloy extract modulates the various pathways of the immune system for improved immunity.

“These multiple medicinal properties are because of the presence of its secondary metabolites. Despite these medicinal properties, the unavailability of its genome sequence was a constraint in studying the genomic basis of the medicinal properties. Thus, the genome sequence of Giloy could be a breakthrough as the potential therapeutic agent for diseases like COVID in the future," says IISER Bhopal.

The availability of the Giloy genome will help in bridging the missing link between its genomic and medicinal properties. This study will provide leads for exploring the genomic basis of its medicinal properties, explains the IISER.


“The genome and transcriptome sequencing of Giloy is important due to its tremendous use in pharmaceuticals and ayurvedic formulations to treat various health conditions including COVID-19 and can provide deep insights into the genomic basis of its medicinal properties," adds the institute.

The genome sequencing will also aid in various comparative genomic studies and will act as a reference for the future species sequenced from its genus and family.

The research team was led by Dr Vineet K Sharma, Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, IISER Bhopal, along with Shruti Mahajan and Abhisek Chakraborty, PhD students, and Titas Sil, BS-MS student. The Research has been published in the international preprint server for biology bioRxiv.

“Giloy has anti-microbial activity and is used in skin diseases, urinary tract infection, and dental plaque, among others. It is also found to reduce the clinical symptoms in HIV-positive patients and its antioxidant activity has anti-cancer and chemo-protective properties. Giloy extracts are found to be potential candidates in treating various cancers like brain tumour, breast cancer, and oral cancer, as well," Dr Sharma said.

This research was undertaken by MetaBioSys Group, which focuses on the Indian microbiome including gut, scalp, skin microbiomes in healthy and diseased individuals.

“Giloy is considered as an important multipurpose medicinal plant in Ayurvedic science. This plant came into the limelight due to its immunomodulatory and antiviral activity after the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been used in various health conditions due to its immune-modulatory, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-microbial, anti-viral, anti-cancer properties, among others," explains Mahajan.

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first published:September 06, 2021, 15:55 IST
last updated:September 06, 2021, 15:55 IST