A team of Australian researchers has shown that ivermectin, an antiparasitic drug, can kill the coronavirus in 48 hours in “in vitro” tests, according to a study published by Antiviral Research.
Experts at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia warn that the tests have been conducted in cell cultures and that human trials are still needed.
A single dose of ivermectin “It could stop the growth of SARS-CoV-2 in cell culture, effectively eradicating all of the virus’s genetic material within 48 hours.”
The next step now, the university said in a statement, “is to determine the correct human dose,” making sure that the dose necessary to effectively treat the virus “in vitro” is of a safe level for people.
The use of ivermectin to combat COVID-19 it relies on preclinical testing and clinical trials, and “funding is urgently needed to move the work forward,” the note added.
This drug approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also been shown to be effective “in vitro” against a wide range of viruses, including HIV, dengue, influenza, and the Zika virus.
Study lead author Kylie Wagstaff of Monash University explained that they had found that “even a single dose could essentially clear all viral RNA in 48 hours, and that even within 24 hours, there was a truly significant reduction.”
Wagstaff noted, however, that the tests for the study were done “in vitro” and that human trials are necessary.
“In times when we are having a global pandemic and there is no approved treatment, if we had a compound that was already available worldwide, that could help people sooner. Realistically,” the researcher considered, “it will take time. before a vaccine becomes widely available. “
Although the mechanism by which the ivermectin acts in the coronavirus, taking into account its action on other viruses, “it is likely to work to stop the virus’s ability to ‘buffer’ the ability of host cells to kill it,” Wagstaff said.
The use of this medicine to combat COVID-19 It would depend, according to the scientist, on the results of more preclinical tests and, ultimately, on clinical trials, with funding that is urgently needed to continue advancing the work.