The COVID-19 pandemic is a global challenge, demanding researchers address different approaches in relation to prevention, diagnostics and therapeutics. Amongst the many tactics of tackling these therapeutic challenges, small extracellular vesicles (sEVs) or exosomes are emerging as a new frontier in the field of ameliorating viral infections. Exosomes are part of extracellular vesicles (EVs)—spherical biological structures with a lipid bilayer of a diameter of up to 5000 nm, which are released into the intercellular space by most types of eukaryotic cells, both in physiological and pathological states. EVs share structural similarities to viruses, such as small size, common mechanisms of biogenesis and mechanisms for cell entry. The role of EVs in promoting the viral spread by evading the immune response of the host, which is exhibited by retroviruses, indicates the potential for further investigation and possible manipulation of these processes when tackling the spread and treatment of COVID-19. The following paper introduces the topic of the use of exosomes in the treatment of viral infections, and presents the future prospects for the use of these EVs.
- Extracellular vesicles