Antiparasitic drug Ivermectin kills coronavirus in 48 hours

Around the world, scientists race to develop a vaccine or treatment against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Now, a team of researchers has found that a drug already available around the world can kill the coronavirus in a lab setting in just 48 hours.

Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 Colorized scanning electron micrograph of an apoptotic cell (green) heavily infected with SARS-COV-2 virus particles (yellow), isolated from a patient sample. Image captured at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. Credit: NIAID
Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 Colorized scanning electron micrograph of an apoptotic cell (green) heavily infected with SARS-COV-2 virus particles (yellow), isolated from a patient sample. Image captured at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. Credit: NIAID

The drug, Ivermectin, an antiparasitic medicine, is an inhibitor of the virus SARS-CoV-2 in-vitro and can effectively cause a reduction in virus at 48 hours in cell cultures. The FDA-approved drug can be used for repurposing to treat patients affected by COVID-19, which has spread to 184 countries and territories.

The researchers at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, have published their study in the journal Antiviral Research, showing how this already widely-used drug may help combat the current global pandemic rippling across continents.

Reduced COVID-19 viral RNA

The team worked with the Peter Doherty Institute of Infection and Immunity. They showed that Ivermectin reduced COVID-19 viral RNA present in cell culture by as much as 93 percent after 24 hours and by 99.8 percent after 48 hours, at around a 5,000-fold reduction in coronavirus RNA, hinting that the medicine can potentially eradicate the virus.

"We found that even a single dose could essentially remove all viral RNA by 48 hours and that even at 24 hours, there was a significant reduction in it," Dr. Kylie Wagstaff of the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute, said.

"Ivermectin is very widely used and seen as a safe drug. We need to figure out now whether the dosage you can use it in humans will be effective – that's the next step," Dr. Wagstaff added.

The researchers, however, cautioned that the tests performed in the study were in vitro, and human trials are still needed to determine the efficacy and safety of the drug against the coronavirus. Ivermectin has also shown effectiveness in vitro against a wide range of other viruses, such as the influenza virus, Zika virus, and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Repurposing Ivermectin

Ivermectin is an approved drug to treat parasitic conditions, such as rosacea, head lice, and scabies. It was developed in 1975 and has been widely used across the globe since the early 1980s.

"In times when we're having a global pandemic, and there isn't an approved treatment, if we had a compound that was already available around the world, then that might help people sooner. Realistically, it's going to be a while before a vaccine is broadly available," Dr. Wagstaff explained.

Though the mechanism of action by which Ivermectin works on the coronavirus is still unknown, the drug works on other viruses by stopping them from inhibiting down the host cells' ability to detect and fight them.

Ivermectin, therefore, warrants further investigation for possible benefits in humans. Further trials should be performed to make sure the drug is effective. If it is effective on humans with coronavirus, it can be widely used to treat affected populations since it already went through approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Countries grapple against COVID-19

Many countries are unprepared for the coming of the coronavirus disease, which has emerged in China in December 2019. Since then, it has spread to most countries across the globe, touching all continents except Antarctica.

The United States reports the highest infections, with more than 368,000 people affected by the virus. It has a staggering 10,923 deaths. Italy has the highest number of deaths, with its death toll reaching 16,523, while Spain has more than 136,000 confirmed cases and 13,341 deaths. Canada has more than 16,000 confirmed cases, while Germany, France, and China have more than 103,000, 98,000, and 82,000 cases, respectively.

The coronavirus has dramatically affected the United Kingdom and Australia also, with more than 52,000 and more than 5,700 cases, respectively.  

Sources:
Journal reference:
Angela Betsaida B. Laguipo

Written by

Angela Betsaida B. Laguipo

Angela is a nurse by profession and a writer by heart. She graduated with honors (Cum Laude) for her Bachelor of Nursing degree at the University of Baguio, Philippines. She is currently completing her Master's Degree where she specialized in Maternal and Child Nursing and worked as a clinical instructor and educator in the School of Nursing at the University of Baguio.

Citations

Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:

  • APA

    Laguipo, Angela. (2020, April 07). Antiparasitic drug Ivermectin kills coronavirus in 48 hours. News-Medical. Retrieved on June 04, 2020 from https://www.news-medical.net/news/20200406/Antiparasitic-drug-Ivermectin-kills-coronavirus-in-48-hours.aspx.

  • MLA

    Laguipo, Angela. "Antiparasitic drug Ivermectin kills coronavirus in 48 hours". News-Medical. 04 June 2020. <https://www.news-medical.net/news/20200406/Antiparasitic-drug-Ivermectin-kills-coronavirus-in-48-hours.aspx>.

  • Chicago

    Laguipo, Angela. "Antiparasitic drug Ivermectin kills coronavirus in 48 hours". News-Medical. https://www.news-medical.net/news/20200406/Antiparasitic-drug-Ivermectin-kills-coronavirus-in-48-hours.aspx. (accessed June 04, 2020).

  • Harvard

    Laguipo, Angela. 2020. Antiparasitic drug Ivermectin kills coronavirus in 48 hours. News-Medical, viewed 04 June 2020, https://www.news-medical.net/news/20200406/Antiparasitic-drug-Ivermectin-kills-coronavirus-in-48-hours.aspx.

Comments

  1. Pamela Newton Pamela Newton United States says:

    It is a publicized well known fact that high heat kills the virus, doesn't help spread it as your article states. That is why it is encouraged to drink hot liquids. Your article said it spreads in high heat. It likes cold environments instead. You need to correct your article.

  2. Pamela Newton Pamela Newton United States says:

    Correction, a link to a related story, says it spreads in high heat, when it is heat that destroys it instead. It spread in winter time.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
You might also like... ×
Israeli scientists discover monoclonal antibody that neutralizes SARS-CoV-2