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Prophylactic administration of ivermectin attenuates SARS-CoV-2 induced disease in a Syrian Hamster Model

Uematsu et al., The Journal of Antibiotics, doi:10.1038/s41429-023-00623-0 (date from preprint)
Sep 2022  
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Hamster study showing that prophylactic ivermectin inhibited COVID-19 weight loss, reduced lung viral titer by a factor of 10, inhibited pulmonary inflammatory cytokine expression, and reduced the severity of pathological changes with a single 1mg/kg dose. Authors also tested 250 and 500µg/kg for inhibition of weight loss, showing a dose-response relationship. While not statistically significant, 500µg/kg also showed a trend for benefit.
Ivermectin, better known for antiparasitic activity, is a broad spectrum antiviral with activity against many viruses including H7N7 Götz, Dengue Tay, Wagstaff, HIV-1 Wagstaff, Simian virus 40 Wagstaff (B), Zika Barrows, Yang, West Nile Yang, Yellow Fever Mastrangelo, Varghese, Japanese encephalitis Mastrangelo, Chikungunya Varghese, Semliki Forest virus Varghese, Human papillomavirus Li, Epstein-Barr Li, BK Polyomavirus Bennett, and Sindbis virus Varghese.
Ivermectin is an inhibitor of importin-α/β-dependent nuclear import of viral proteins Götz, Kosyna, Wagstaff, Wagstaff (B), a SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro inhibitor Mody, binds to glycan sites on the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein preventing interaction with blood and epithelial cells and inhibiting hemagglutination Boschi, exhibits dose-dependent inhibition of lung injury Abd-Elmawla, Ma, may inhibit SARS-CoV-2 induced formation of fibrin clots resistant to degradation Vottero, shows protection against inflammation, cytokine storm, and mortality in an LPS mouse model of severe infection/inflammation that shares key pathological features of severe COVID-19 DiNicolantonio, Zhang, may be beneficial in severe COVID-19 by binding IGF1 to inhibit the promotion of inflammation, fibrosis, and cell proliferation that leads to lung damage Zhao, may minimize SARS-CoV-2 induced cardiac damage Liu, Liu (B), has immunomodulatory Munson and anti-inflammatory DiNicolantonio (B), Yan properties, and has an extensive and very positive safety profile Descotes.
Uematsu et al., 15 Sep 2022, peer-reviewed, 6 authors.
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Prophylactic administration of ivermectin attenuates SARS-CoV-2 induced disease in a Syrian Hamster Model
Takayuki Uematsu, Tomomi Takano, Hidehito Matsui, Noritada Kobayashi, Satoshi Ōmura, Hideaki Hanaki
The Journal of Antibiotics, doi:10.1038/s41429-023-00623-0
, caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection, is currently among the most important public health concerns worldwide. Although several effective vaccines have been developed, there is an urgent clinical need for effective pharmaceutical treatments for treatment of COVID-19. Ivermectin, a chemical derivative of avermectin produced by Streptomyces avermitilis, is a macrocyclic lactone with antiparasitic activity. Recent studies have shown that ivermectin inhibits SARS-CoV-2 replication in vitro. In the present study, we investigated the in vivo effects of ivermectin in a hamster model of SARS-CoV-2 infection. The results of the present study demonstrate oral administration of ivermectin prior to SARS-CoV-2 infection in hamsters was associated with decreased weight loss and pulmonary inflammation. In addition, the administration of ivermectin reduced pulmonary viral titers and mRNA expression level of pro-inflammatory cytokines associated with severe COVID-19 disease. The administration of ivermectin rapidly induced the production of virus-specific neutralizing antibodies in the late stage of viral infection. Zinc concentrations leading to immune quiescence were also significantly higher in the lungs of ivermectin-treated hamsters compared to controls. These results indicate that ivermectin may have efficacy in reducing the development and severity of COVID-19 by affecting host immunity in a hamster model of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Supplementary information The online version contains supplementary material available at Infectious Diseases from the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development, under grant JP20fk0108158 to HH. Compliance with ethical standards Conflict of interest The authors declare no competing interests. Publisher's note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons. org/licenses/by/4.0/.
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