Scientists from the Australian Monash University and the Royal hospital in Melbourne found that the antiparasitic drug ivermectin is able to suppress the reproduction of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in 48 hours. The findings are published in the publication Antiviral Research.
In the laboratory, researchers analyzed the effect of ivermectin on coronavirus-infected cells, where they added the drug two hours after infection. It turned out that due to a single dose of the drug, the amount of viral RNA decreases by 93% after a day, and after two days — by more than 99%.
“After 48 hours, this effect increased to a 5,000-fold decrease in viral RNA in ivermectin-treated cells compared to control samples,” the paper says.
However, during the experiment, ivermectin did not have a toxic effect on the samples.
Scientists hope that their work will help start research for the use of the drug in cases of coronavirus infection.
In their opinion, ivermectin can help reduce the viral load of SARS-CoV-2, prevent the development of complications in the disease and limit the transmission of infection from person to person.
Earlier on Wednesday, it was reported that the United States has started the country’s first trials of the Japanese drug “Avigan”, which can be used to treat coronavirus.
According to the latest data, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the world has exceeded 1.5 million people. In total, 87,978 people died from the new type of coronavirus, and 319,286 patients were cured. The leader among countries in terms of morbidity by a large margin is the United States more than 425 thousand, in Spain and Italy, respectively, 146,824 and 139,422 infected. China is now in sixth place in the world.