A team of Scientists from Australia in Melbourne has effectively killed the SARS-CoV-2 virus in cell cultures within 48 hours using an FDA-approved Ivermectin, which is already available throughout the world.
Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic drug that has been able to previously show results against other viruses including HIV, Influenza, Dengue & the Zika virus.
The Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute Dr. Kylie Wagstaff lead the team study: “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. Ivermectin is very widely used and seen as a safe drug. We need to figure out now whether the dosage you can use it in humans will be effective – that’s the next step.“
The scientists tested the antiviral activity by infecting Vero/hSLAM cells with SARS-CoV-2 isolate and then followed that with one dose of Ivermectin. After only 24 hours they saw a 93% reduction of viral RNA present. A 99.8% reduction in cell-associated viral RNA happened by the 48th hour, leading the scientists to conclude”that ivermectin treatment resulted in the successful loss of basically all viral substance by 48 h, within 72h, eliminating coronavirus completely.
Although the mechanism by which Ivermectin works on the virus is not known, 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, Dr Wagstaff said.
The next steps are to determine the correct human dosage – ensuring the doses shown to effectively treat the virus in vitro are safe for humans.
The use of Ivermectin to combat COVID-19 depends on pre-clinical testing and clinical trials, with funding urgently required to progress the work.
The use of Ivermectin to combat COVID-19 would depend on the results of further pre-clinical testing and ultimately clinical trials, with funding urgently required to keep progressing the work, Dr Wagstaff said.
Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos is urging the public not to misuse the substance, nor rush to pharmacies to buy lice treatments and use them in a “completely inappropriate way” as it could be fatal.