Authors: Sharun K, Dhama K, Patel SK, Pathak M, Tiwari R

PMID: 32473642 PMCID: PMC7261036 DOI: 10.1186/s12941-020-00368-w


The recent report by Caly et al., describing the antiviral potential of ivermectin against the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in vitro arrive to the agenda of potential candidates for COVID-19 treatment. This discovery gave hope to the researchers who are screening for drugs that can be repurposed for treating the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Ivermectin, is a member of the avermectin family; as these compounds are produced by the soil microorganism, Streptomyces avermitilis, they are called avermectins. Ivermectin has showed a wide range of activities, ranging from broad-spectrum endo/ecto-parasiticide activity to antiviral, antibacterial, and anticancer activities. It was first introduced commercially in 1981 for use in animals. In addition to being used for treating billions of livestock and companion animals worldwide to help maintain food production and animal health, ivermectin is also used for treating several diseases in humans, e.g. a key drug in the elimination programs of onchocercosis. Ivermectin is considered a drug of choice for various parasitic diseases. As an anthelmintic drug, its mechanism of action in invertebrates mainly involves the opening of glutamate-gated and Gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA)-gated chloride channels, leading to increased conductance of chloride ions and causing subsequent motor paralysis in parasites.

Keywords: 2019-nCoV; COVID-19; Coronavirus; Ivermectin; SARS-CoV-2; Therapeutics.

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