COVID-19, 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.

Fuente: The Journal of Antibiotics
Published: 25 April 2023