MADRID, 3 Apr. (EUROPA PRESS) –
A collaborative study led by the Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI) at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, together with the Peter Doherty Institute of Infection and Immunity (Doherty Institute), have shown in cell cultures that a anti-parasitic drug, called ivermectin and available worldwide, is able to kill the new coronavirus in 48 hours.
“We have found that even a single dose could eliminate all viral RNA at 48 hours and that, in addition, at 24 hours there is a really significant reduction,” said the researchers, whose work has been published in the journal ‘Antiviral Research’.
It is an antiparasitic drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that has also proven to be effective ‘in vitro’ against a wide range of viruses, including HIV, dengue, influenza and Zika.
However, experts have warned that trials still have to be done on people.
“Ivermectin is widely used and is considered a safe medicine. We need to determine now whether the dose at which it can be used in humans will be effective, that is the next step.
At a time when we have a global pandemic and there is no approved treatment,
if we had a compound that was already available around the world, people could be helped sooner.
Realistically, it will be a while before a widely available vaccine is applied,” the experts have said.
Although the mechanism by which ivermectin works in the virus is unknown, it is likely, depending on its action in other viruses, that it will work to prevent the virus from “attenuating” the ability of host cells to remove it.
The use of ivermectin to combat Covid-19 will depend on the results of more preclinical tests and ultimately clinical trials.