Health Antiparasitic has been shown to be effective in vitro...

Antiparasitic has been shown to be effective in vitro against Covid-19

The medicine used against lice and worms shows high activity against SARS-CoV-2 virus in cell culture.

Australian scientists have shown that the antiparasitic drug ivermectin may be effective in the treatment of coronavirus. An article about this is published in the publication. Antiviral research.

According to Monash, research director Kylie Wagstaff of the Institute of Biomedical Research, Ivermectin is able to stop the virus infection of Sovid-19 in cell culture for two days. “We found that even a single dose [препарата] can remove all viral RNA in 48 hours, and within 24 hours – lead to a noticeable decrease in its amount, ”says Wagstaff.

The experiments were performed on the Vero-hSLAM cell line (African green monkey kidney cell epithelium). Two hours after the virus infection, the drug was added to the infected culture in a molar concentration of five micromoles per liter. The amount of viral RNA was determined in the supernatant: the supernatant remaining after the destruction and centrifugation of cells.

Ivermectin molecule structure / © Hangzhou Longshine Biotech

In samples centrifuged 24 hours after drug injection, a decrease in viral RNA level of 93% was observed compared to the control sample. For 48 hours, ivermectin reduced the amount of the nucleic acid of the virus by more than 99%.

Ivermectin is used to treat a number of endo- and ectoparasitic diseases of both humans and various animals. In particular, it is used to treat scabies, lice, helminthiases and miiasis (diseases caused by parasitic larvae of flies). Ivermectin disrupts the transmission of nerve impulses in the body of the parasite, which leads to its death.

Scheme of the proposed mechanism of antiviral activity of ivermectin / © Wagstaff, Caly et al., Antiviral Research, 2020

Earlier studies have shown that ivermectin is highly effective against a wide range of RNA viruses – for example, HIV, as well as causative agents of dengue fever and West Nile disease. However, all experiments were carried out in vitro, that is, outside living organisms. “Ivermectin is widely used and is regarded as a safe drug. Now we need to find out whether the dosage at which it can be used for people will be effective, ”explains Kylie Wagstaff.

Another important issue to be clarified in future research is the mechanism by which ivermectin acts on viruses. So far, scientists can only speculate on this subject. Most likely, the drug blocks viral proteins that help the pathogen penetrate the cell nucleus, where its DNA is contained.

The use of ivermectin to combat Sovid-19 will depend on the results of further preclinical and clinical studies. Now Australian scientists are actively seeking funding for a more detailed study of the antiviral activity of the drug.

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