“Coronavirus: Anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin kills COVID-19 in lab within 48 hours”
“An anti-parasitic drug available throughout the world has been found to kill COVID-19 in the lab within 48 hours. Credit: Getty Images
A Monash University-led study has shown a single dose of the drug Ivermectin could stop the SARS-CoV-2 virus growing in cell culture.
“We found that even a single dose could essentially remove all viral RNA (effectively removed all genetic material of the virus) by 48 hours and that even at 24 hours there was a really significant reduction in it,” Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute’s Dr Kylie Wagstaff said on Friday.
While it’s not known how Ivermectin works on the virus, the drug likely stops the virus dampening the host cells’ ability to clear it.
A Monash University-led study has shown a single dose of the drug Ivermectin could stop coronavirus growing in cell culture. File image.
A Monash University-led study has shown a single dose of the drug Ivermectin could stop coronavirus growing in cell culture.
The next step is for scientists to determine the correct human dosage, to make sure the level used in vitro is safe for humans.
“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,” Dr Wagstaff said.
“Realistically it’s going to be a while before a vaccine is broadly available.”
Before Ivermectin can be used to combat coronavirus, funding is needed to get it to pre-clinical testing and clinical trials.
Ivermectin is an FDA-approved anti-parasitic drug also shown to be effective in vitro against viruses including HIV, dengue and influenza.
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The study is the joint work of Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute and the Peter Doherty Institute of Infection and Immunity.
The study findings have been published in Antiviral Research.
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“Anti-parasitic drug kills novel coronavirus in lab grown cells within 48 hours: Study
According to the study, published in the journal Antiviral Research, the drug, Ivermectin, stopped the virus, SARS-CoV-2, from growing in cell culture within 48 hours.
Published: 05th April 2020
A laboratory set up for the diagnosis of coronavirus.
MELBOURNE: Researchers have found that an anti-parasitic drug already available around the world can kill the novel coronavirus grown in cell cultures within 48 hours, an advance that may lead to the development and trial of a new clinical therapy for COVID-19.
“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 really significant reduction in it,” said study co-author Kylie Wagstaff from Monash University in Australia.
The scientists said Ivermectin is an approved anti-parasitic drug that has also been shown to be effective in vitro against a broad range of viruses including HIV, Dengue, Influenza and Zika virus.
However, Wagstaff cautioned that the tests conducted in the study were in vitro and that trials needed to be carried out in people.
“Ivermectin is very widely used and seen as a safe drug. We need to figure out now whether the dosage you can use it at in humans will be effective – that’s the next step,” Wagstaff said.
“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,” she said.
Although the mechanism by which Ivermectin works on the virus is not known, the scientists said it is likely, based on its action in other viruses, that it works to stop the virus ‘dampening down’ the host cells’ ability to clear it.
“As the virologist who was part of the team who were first to isolate and share SARS-COV2 outside of China in January 2020, I am excited about the prospect of Ivermectin being used as a potential drug against COVID-19,” said Leon Caly, study co-author from the Royal Melbourne Hospital in Australia.
The scientists further cautioned that the use of Ivermectin to combat COVID-19 would depend on the results of future pre-clinical testing and ultimately clinical trials.