Inhaled Niclosamide Effective Against SARS-CoV-2

Niclosamide an anthelmintic drug, which has been in use for over 60 years and included in the essential medicine list by the WHO has shown promise as an antiviral candidate. In this study, researchers revealed their antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory efficacy. Niclosamide has shown activity against gram-positive and negative bacteria. Due to the poor bioavailability, the oral formulation does not meet the required systemic concentration.

Niclosamide was delivered as an aerosol, using human lysozyme (hLYS) as a carrier molecule. In the study, niclosamide-hLYS was administered in CoV- infected mice via the intranasal route. The lung tissue in these mice revealed lower levels of interstitial pneumonia and reduced inflammation when compared to the non-treated mice. Additionally, improved survivability was observed and reduced viral loads in brains, lungs and kidneys.

The researchers also observed the potency of niclosamide-hLYS in vitro. After 24 hours of infection, 92.7% of the viral load decreased in SARS-CoV-2 infected cells and 82.2% of viral load decreased in MERS-CoV-infection. The currently approved treatment for COVID-19 is remdesivir but is not recommended for patients with kidney diseases. Niclosamide could prove to be a better alternative to remdesivir.

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