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Covid-19 Anti-coinfection Candidate Drugs Won Three International Innovation Awards

Two students from SVMBS IPB University have won three awards in the international student innovation competition. The competition was held online. Two awards were obtained at the SPACE UP 30 International Scientific Paper and Poster Competition at Telkom University (24/01/2021) and one award was obtained at the 2nd International Conference on Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine at Universitas Brawijaya (23/09/2021).

The two events aim to bring together the creative ideas of multi-disciplinary students from many countries to face the post-COVID-19 pandemic conditions and provide solutions for the main sectors affected by the Pandemic through the One Health concept.

Bintang Aditia Tri Wibowo and Imam Ali Alzaini Bychaqi presented the findings of a candidate for a Covid 19 anti-infection drug based on maggot (Hermetia illucens or Black Soldier Fly) extract as a substitute for conventional antibiotics. Sars-CoV-2 co-infection can inhibit the host’s immune system, increase intolerance of antibacterial therapy, and worsen prognosis. 

The main co-infection agents in Covid-19 are respiratory bacterial infections, especially S. pneumoniae and H. influenzae.

Inaccurate antibiotic therapy can trigger antimicrobial resistance (AMR). This is behind the invention of maggots as an alternative solution to antibiotic substitutes. This invention has been proven in silico and in vitro to kill three types of respiratory bacteria with better activity than conventional antibiotics.

The abundant availability of maggots, ease of production, and high peptide content support maggots as future protein source commodities. The maggots have great potential for development in the future.