Ivermectin is a drug approved by FDA, Ivermectin inhibits the reapplication of SARS- CoV-2 in vitro. Its is an inhibitor of the COVID-19 causative virus. A single treatment is able to effect 500 fold reduction in virus at 48h cell culture. Ivermectin is FDA approved for parasitic infections and therefore has a potential for re-purposing. Ivermectin is widely available due to its inclusion on the WHO model list essential medicines. Although several clinical trials are now underway to test possible therapies the worldwide response to the COVID-19 outbreak has been largely limited to monitoring. We report here that Ivermectin an FDA approved anti-parasitic previously shown to have broad spectrum anti for a number used for viral activity in vitro, is an inhibitor of the causative virus, with a single addition to the vero-hSLAM cells 2 hours post infection with SARS-CoV-2 able to effect 5000 fold reduction in viral RNA at 48h. Ivermectin therefore warrants further investigation for possible benefits in humans.
What is COVID-19
The causative agent of the current COVID-19 pandemic, SARS-CoV-2, is single stranded positive sense RNA virus that is closely related to severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus. Studies on SARS-Cov proteins have revealed a pontential role during infection in signal dependent nucleocytoplasmic shutting of the SARS-CoV nucleocapsid protein that may impact host cell division. Ivermectin nuclear transport inhibitory activity may be effective against SARS-CoV 2. To test the antiviral activity of Ivermectin towards SARS-Cov -2 isolate. Similarly a reduction in cell associated viral RNA [indicative of unreleased and unpackaged versions] was observed with Ivermectin treatment. By 48 h this effect increased to an 5000 fold reduction of viral RNA Ivermectin treated compared to control samples ,indicating that Ivermectin treated resulted in the effective loss of essentially all viral material by 48 h. Consistent with this idea no further reduction in viral RNA was observed at 72 h.
What is Ivermectin
Ivermectin in Australia is more of a wonder drug in human health improving the nutrition ,general health and well being of billions of people worldwide, it is used to treat a variety of internal nematode infections including ascariasis. Ivermectin is the essential mainstay of two global disease elimination campaigns that should soon rid the world of two to its most disfiguring and devastating diseases. Ivermectin is a potent macrocyclic lactone causing paralysis in many nematodes and arthropods through an influx of chloride ions across cell membranes. It is currently the drug of choice for human onchocerciasis and show potent microfilaricidal activity against the other major viral parasites of humans Ivermectin was a revelation. It had a broad spectrum of activity,was highly efficacious acting robustly at low doses against a wide variety of nematode, insect and acarine parasites.
It proved to be extremely effective against most common intestinal worms could be administered orally, topically or prenatally and showed no signs of cross resistance with other commonly used anti-parasitic compounds.
What does Ivermectin treat
Ivermectin was found to be an excellent treatment for lymphatic filariasis leading to donation program being extended to cover this diseases in areas where it co-exist with other diseases like onchocerciasis. Ivermectin mass drug administration also bestows significant secondary community wide health and socioeconomic benefits due to impact on non target infections. We hypothesize that this is likely through inhibiting mediated nuclear import of viral proteins for other RNA viruses confirmation of this mechanism in the case of SARS-CoV-2 and identification of the specific host component impacted is an important focus for future work in this laboratory. Ultimately, development of an effective anti viral for SARS as if given to patients early in infection could help to limit the viral load prevent severe diseases progression and limit person-person transmission.
Is Ivermectin safe
Ivermectin has an established safety profile for human use and FDA approved for a number use of parasitic infections. Recent reviews about a meta-analysis indicate that a high dose Ivermectin has a comparable safety as standard low dose treatment although there is not enough evidence to make conclusions about the safety of the profile in the pregnancy. The critical next step in further evaluation for possible benefit in the COVID-19 patients will be to examine multiple addition dosing regimen that mimics the current approved usage of Ivermectin in humans. Altogether, the current report combined with known safety profile demonstrates that Ivermectin is worthy of further considerations.