Solution Overview

Solution Name:

First-Aid for the SARS-CoV-2

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One-line solution summary:

Validate/refute the efficacy of raw garlic intake in high quantity obviate life uncertainty to relieve breathing distress due to SARS-CoV-2

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Pitch your solution.

Problem 

At this juncture the uncertainty surrounding the adverse health resulting from the SARS-CoV-2 virus causes governments worldwide to take a reactive approach to safeguard their respective people, more acutely experienced in nations where health care services are not able to cope with the intensity and breadth of infection   

Proposal

More applicable to an individual who is not vaccinated, develop a first-aid method to give people infected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus a fighting chance to survive by relieving _breathing distress_ until professional medical help restores the rest of the system.

Impact

Independent variables - parts per million of exposure to this virus (applicable especially to medical first responders), poor people who do not have access to vaccination. At present, the lack of a reliable first-aid to _save lives_ of people affected by this virus has created unprecedented uncertainty. The proposed first-aid hopes to obviate uncertainty to cope with the pandemic.

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Film your elevator pitch.

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What specific problem are you solving?

Problem?: 

- How can communities prepare for, detect, and respond to emerging pandemics and health security threats?

Which factors of problem contributes to your solution?:

- Health uncertainty caused by the pandemic.
- Governments unable to cope when the virus variant overwhelms a region (e.g. New Delhi, India in April 2021).
- Lockdowns place significant burden on the daily wage earner.
- Absence of a reliable first-aid to cope with breathing distress irrespective of the virus variant causing the health distress. 
- People though vaccinated are unsure whether or not a virus variant can compromise their health beyond repair. A first-aid is a confidence booster.
- Even a single health care worker though vaccinated to this virus losing life due to overexposure to this virus is untenable if there is a first-aid method to relieve breathing distress.

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What is your solution?

In October 2018, after experiencing significant inflammation in the jaw/neck region and breathing deficiency (suffocating feeling when I stood in front of a source of steam) prompted me to experiment with raw garlic which I had already read in research publications to provide effective anti-inflammatory relief. I found that consuming per intake of about 15-20grams of liquefied raw garlic after mixing it with raw tomato (quantity sufficient to reduce the strong taste of raw garlic) to give unmistakable positive relief within a few hours of consuming the freshly prepared raw garlic mixture.

With arrival of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, reading about the virus impair respiratory function among others, my literature survey found that raw garlic has been found to provide anti-fibrotic relief in animal model tests to substantiate my personal experiences. My hypothesis that raw garlic is very likely to be an effective first-aid to overcome breathing distress for those affected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus is described in response to the following question.

If the hypothesis is valid, there is a need for an analytical device that accurately measures the quantity of organosulfur compounds in raw garlic to determine dosage of intake. 

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Who does your solution serve, and in what ways will the solution impact their lives?

Target population:
- To obviate uncertainty in affluent and poor alike.

In what ways are they currently underserved:
- People differ in the extant of precaution one takes to place those who are in vulnerable state (elderly, young but vulnerable health etc.) or job (grocery market/department store workers etc.). The absence of a reliable method to cope with breathing distress caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus creates unnecessary confrontation. If there was a first-aid to relieve breathing dysfunction, it would induce sufficient confidence in people to cope if one gets infected by this virus.
- In nations where there is significant disparity in healthcare vs. population served, the virus has the capacity to cause insurmountable burden on a government and its people (e.g. New Delhi, India in April 2021).
- Lack of timely access to prompt medical attention in affluent and other nations places significant burden on people.
- Health care workers are defenseless even if vaccinated when the quantum of exposure exceeds the defensive capability of a vaccine. Indian Medical Association has reported that a few doctors on the front-lines treating the SARS-CoV-2 variant in India (New Delhi and other locales in April 2021) were lost even though they were vaccinated for this virus. 

To remedy this situation, my proposal is to conduct a study on animal and human subjects to determine if raw garlic in moderate-to-high quantity over a span on 2-3 days has the capacity to save lives of people affected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus and its variants. The hypothesis to support this proposal/solution follows:

Potential SARS-CoV-2 First-Aid: A need for research to determine if raw garlic is viable to serve as a First-Aid to defend from the SARS-CoV-2 Virus.

Though organosulfur compounds found in raw garlic have been found to _not_pose antimicrobial*1 defense against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, its ability to restore respiratory function after pulmonary fibrosis and ischemia-reperfusion injury in the lungs is promising.

A literature survey (assisted by an online search for 'covid-19 chest images' AND 'bronchial distortion' OR 'honeycombing' OR 'linear opacities with crazy-paving pattern') that analyze CT scan images of people diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2, the opacities (bronchial distortion; honeycombing; and linear opacities with crazy-paving pattern) are similar to those with pulmonary fibrosis. Thus prompting the notion that organosulfur compounds in raw garlic may be able to recover loss in respiratory function (pulmonary fibrosis*2 and ischemia-reperfusion injury in the lungs*3) caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

"Researchers at MIT and the University of Colorado at Denver have proposed a stopgap measure that they believe could help SARS-CoV-2 patients who are in acute respiratory distress. By repurposing a drug that is now used to treat blood clots, they believe they could help people in cases where a ventilator is not helping, or if a ventilator is not available"*4. This hypothesis proposes the merit of organosulfur compounds found in raw garlic that are known to provide anti-fibrotic relief as a likely method to relieve acute oxygen insufficiency experienced by people affected by the coronavirus and hence serve as first-aid to obviate uncertainty under present circumstances.

In addition to providing anti-fibrotic relief, the organosulfur compounds in raw garlic are also found to provide anticoagulant*5,*6, antimicrobial (i.e. offset secondary infection), antiinflammatory and immune response*7.

To ascertain the efficacy of administering raw garlic to patients affected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, immune response to acute infection scenarios*8 affecting the lungs is reviewed:

  • Application of cytokine inhibitors have so far been found to not pose an adverse effect*9 in those affected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Cytokine inhibition (TNF-alpha, IL-6 and IL-1beta) derived from intake of raw garlic*10,*11,*12 finds support from a call for clinical trial*13 to evaluate TNF-alpha inhibition to mitigate SARS-CoV-2.
  • The cell/cytokine configuration associated with clearance from the SARS-CoV-2 virus*14 is likely to be supported by intake of raw garlic since such intake have caused an increase in B/T cells*15, T-regulatory cells*16 and Natural Killer (NK) cells*17.

This hypothesis suggesting high intake of raw garlic provide expeditious and substantive relief is supported by its effect on relieving injury to heart*18 and kidney*19.

In summary, the organosulfur compounds found in raw garlic even if not effective in directly neutralizing the SARS-CoV-2 virus, its anti-fibrotic, anti-inflammatory, anticoagulant and immunomodulatory functions reduce the risk of acute oxygen insufficiency, chances of concomitant secondary infection (antimicrobial effect on microbes other than SARS-CoV-2) and hence estimated to serve as an accessible and affordable first-aid to save lives and obviate the prevailing uncertainty.

NOTE: My confidence in this hypothesis is based on lived experiences to overcome instances of breathing problems associated with lung fibrosis since 2018 October (a point in time where I experimented with raw garlic mentioned in response to a previous question) by ingesting a liquefied mixture of raw garlic (about 15-20 grams) and tomato (of quantity to dampen the acrid taste of raw garlic and possibly beneficial antioxidant quality of lycopene found in raw tomato) to provide noticeable improvement in about half hour after intake of raw garlic preparation. In support of the notion that high intake of raw garlic should be limited to at most 2-3 days (based on personal experiences), prolonged intake of raw garlic is known to induce hemolytic anemia*20. To maximize the assimilation of raw garlic, I have found the benefit of ingesting/infusing Vitamin B12 and Alpha Lipoic Acid.

Reference

*1 Potential Inhibitor of COVID-19 Main Protease (Mpro) From Several Medicinal Plant Compounds by Molecular Docking Study.  https://www.preprints.org/manu... 

*2 Attenuation of Bleomycin-Induced Pulmonary Fibrosis in Rats with S-Allyl Cysteine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/p... 

*3 Intravenous allicin improves pulmonary blood flow after ischemia-reperfusion injury in rats. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/p... 

*4 COVID-19: Stopgap measure to treat respiratory distress. https://www.sciencedaily.com/r... 

*5 Identifying the Anti-Blood-Clotting Compounds in Garlic. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2...

*6 16 SECRET DISEASE FIGHTERS. http://www.uky.edu/~garose/bio... . Context, in this presentation, Dr. Larry Dawson's findings on garlic are described.

*7 Immunomodulation and anti-inflammatory effects of garlic compounds. http://doi.rg/10.1155/2015/401... 

*8 Into the Eye of the Cytokine Storm. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/p...

*9 Associations between immune-suppressive and stimulating drugs and novel COVID-19—a systematic review of current evidence. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/p... 

*10 A novel natural compound from garlic (Allium sativum L.) with therapeutic effects against experimental polymicrobial sepsis. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc...

*11 Allicin inhibits spontaneous and TNF-alpha induced secretion of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines from intestinal epithelial cells. https://www.doi.org/10.1016/j.... 

*12 Phytochemicals against TNFα-Mediated Neuroinflammatory Diseases. https://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067... 

*13 Trials of anti-tumour necrosis factor therapy for COVID-19 are urgently needed. https://www.thelancet.com/jour...

*14 COVID-19: risk for cytokine targeting in chronic inflammatory diseases?. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41577.... Context, please refer to Fig. 1 in the paper.

*15 A Single Meal Containing Raw, Crushed Garlic Influences Expression of Immunity- and Cancer-Related Genes in Whole Blood of Humans. https://doi.org/10.3945/jn.115...

*16 Regulatory T cells and anti-inflammatory cytokine profile of mice fed a high-fat diet after single-bulb garlic (Allium sativum L.) oil treatment. http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/tjpr... 

*17 Garlic and Organosulfur Compounds. https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mi.... Accessed on 24 April 2020.

*18 Effect of garlic on cardiovascular disorders: a review. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/p.... Context, high/acute intake of raw garlic provide rapid improvement and a fibrinolytic agent.

*19 Histopathological Assessment of the Kidney of Alloxan Induced Diabetic Rat Treated with Macerated Allium Sativum (garlic). http://www.doi.org/10.15272/aj.... Context, high intake of raw garlic restores kidney damage.

*20 Prevention of garlic-induced hemolytic anemia using some tropical green leafy vegetables. http://www.doi.org/10.1089/jmf.... Context, need to mix raw garlic with another raw vegetable.


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Which dimension of the Challenge does your solution most closely address?

Equip last-mile primary healthcare providers with the necessary tools and knowledge to detect disease outbreaks quickly and respond to them effectively.
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Explain how the problem you are addressing, the solution you have designed, and the population you are serving align with the Challenge.

- To conduct a medical technology-based experiment striving to protect all people—especially those most underserved and at risk because of their race, ethnicity, age, gender, or income by specifically making a positive impact on: 

  • Equip last-mile primary healthcare providers with the necessary tools and knowledge to quickly respond to disease outbreak.

  • Strives to reduce apprehension, stress, depression, and other mental health impacts due to a disease outbreak by empowering people with the knowledge to safeguard themselves.

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In what city, town, or region is your solution team headquartered?

Mysore, Karnataka, India
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What is your solution’s stage of development?

Concept: An idea being explored for its feasibility to build a product, service, or business model based on that idea.
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Explain why you selected this stage of development for your solution.

Unable to find researchers who can conduct experiments on the validity of my hypothesis, the suggested solution for a first-aid to cope with the SARS-CoV-2 virus has had to remain in the prototype/idea phase.

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Who is the Team Lead for your solution?

Self (Suresh S. Kalkunte)

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More About Your Solution

Which of the following categories best describes your solution?

A new application of an existing technology
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What makes your solution innovative?

Tried on my self since 2018 to find raw garlic intake improves breathing deficit caused by lung fibrosis.

This finding has a broader impact on disease control applicable to lung fibrosis arising not because of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Some types of lung fibrosis are of terminal nature. There is a possibility that raw garlic intake remedies such causes of lung impairment. Until further research in animal and human model are conducted, I prefer to avoid speculating the specific type(s) of lung fibrosis that can be relieved by high volume raw garlic intake.

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Please select the technologies currently used in your solution:

  • Biotechnology / Bioengineering
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Select the key characteristics of your target population.

  • Women & Girls
  • Pregnant Women
  • LGBTQ+
  • Children & Adolescents
  • Elderly
  • Rural
  • Peri-Urban
  • Urban
  • Poor
  • Low-Income
  • Middle-Income
  • Refugees & Internally Displaced Persons
  • Minorities & Previously Excluded Populations
  • Persons with Disabilities
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Which of the UN Sustainable Development Goals does your solution address?

  • 3. Good Health and Well-being
  • 10. Reduced Inequality
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In which countries do you currently operate?

  • India
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In which countries will you be operating within the next year?

  • India
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How many people does your solution currently serve? How many will it serve in one year? In five years?

At present, the proposed solution has protected my family and myself from infection. I have shared my findings with friends, acquaintances and extended family.

If the proposed solution is found to be valid, it will serve millions if not billions of people especially in less affluent nations.

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How are you measuring your progress toward your impact goals?

Eagerly waiting for a research institution to provide an opportunity to validate/refute my hypothesis.

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About Your Team

What type of organization is your solution team?

Not registered as any organization

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How many people work on your solution team?

At present, I am the only team member.

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How long have you been working on your solution?

Since October 2018

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How are you and your team well-positioned to deliver this solution?

Given the types of dire health conditions I have overcome by ingesting raw garlic (with support from Vitamin B12 and Alpha Lipoic Acid supplements), I am very confident that the proposed solution is viable.

Armed with a bachelors degree in instrumentation technology, I am capable of assembling a team to develop an analytical technology based device to measure organosulfur compounds extracted from raw garlic.

Regarding a future team, I hope to find fellow participants whose decision making is guided by principles of simplicity/robustness of design, risk-averse and a dedication to intellectual honesty.

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What is your approach to building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive leadership team?

My life experiences have shown the power of a well honed team that is broad-minded to not exclude an earnest intention to contribute. Towards the objective of developing an effective team if the proposed hypothesis is found to be true, I believe in my servant leadership to assemble a team of principled individuals who care for the less affluent.

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Your Business Model & Partnerships

Do you primarily provide products or services directly to individuals, to other organizations, or to the government?

Individual consumers or stakeholders (B2C)
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Partnership & Prize Funding Opportunities

Why are you applying to Solve?

Primarily to seek institutional help to validate my hypothesis that raw garlic is a reliable and efficient means to offset breathing distress in those affected by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

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In which of the following areas do you most need partners or support?

  • Legal or Regulatory Matters
  • Technology (e.g. software or hardware, web development/design, data analysis, etc.)
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Please explain in more detail here.

Legal:
- Since this is a device to address health care industry, FDA approval is necessary.

Technology:
- I would need help in electronics, analytical chemistry and software disciplines involved in business operation. I lived in the Boston suburbs between 1995 to 2002, during which time I have been acquainted with a number of very conscientious and competent people who can contribute to this effort.

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What organizations would you like to partner with, and how would you like to partner with them?

- If MIT would contribute to this effort, it would be the thrill of my life. The support I need are in terms of developing a product that incorporates superior technology in terms of chemical analysis and reliability of output (i.e. measurement is accurate and precise).

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Solution Team

  • Suresh Kalkunte Intellectual honesty, -Unaffiliated-
 
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