BioScience Trends. 2020;14(2):159-160. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2020.03058)
Macrolide treatment for COVID-19: Will this be the way forward?
Ohe M, Shida H, Jodo S, Kusunoki Y, Seki M, Furuya K, Goudarzi H
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic that has developed in late 2019 and 2020 is a serious threat to human health. With no vaccines or drugs approved for prevention and treatment until now, all efforts at drug design and/or clinical trials of already approved drugs are worthy and creditable. Using structure-based drug selection for identification of SARS-CoV-2 protease inhibitors, old drugs such as macrolides (MAC) were predicted to be effective for COVID-19. Lately, the anti-viral effects of macrolides have attracted considerable attention. Very recently, hydroxychloroquine in combination with azithromycin treatment was reported to be effective for COVID-19. We believe that treatments with macrolides alone or in combination with other drugs are promising and open the possibility of an international strategy to fight this emerging viral infection.