Hydroxychloroquine Can Treat Coronavirus?

     Professor Didier Raoult, professor of microbiology at the Institut Hospitals-Universitaire Méditerranée Infection in Marseille, indicated on 25 February 2020 that Hydroxychloroquine could treat Covid-19.

chloroquine treat COVID-19

Hydroxychloroquine to treat the coronavirus? Side effects of chloroquine !!     

     This antimalarial drug would have shown its effectiveness in the treatment of the disease, according to a Chinese scientific study published in the journal BioScience Trends.

     According to Prof Raoult, Hydroxychloroquine would make it possible "to contain the evolution of pneumonia, to improve the state of the lungs, to make the patient become negative again to the virus, and to shorten the duration of the disease".

     The authors of this study also stress that the drug is inexpensive and that its benefits/risks are well known because it has been on the market for a long time.

     However, this therapeutic avenue needs to be explored further as studies have been conducted on a few patients, and chloroquine can cause potentially dangerous side effects.

The use of serums from healed people

     The use of serums from convalescents, i.e., people who have been infected and have developed antibodies, is also being investigated as a therapeutic avenue.

     Work published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation indicates that the use of convalescent serums may be an option:
  • Prevent healthy people exposed to the virus from developing the disease.
  • Rapidly treat those who show the first symptoms.
     The authors of this study reiterate the need to protect those most exposed to Covid-19, including health care workers.

     "Today, nurses, doctors, and other health professionals are on the front line in the fight against Covid-19. They are exposed to proven cases.

    Some of them have developed the disease, others have been quarantined as a preventive measure, endangering the health care systems of the most affected countries," conclude the researchers.

Two vaccines tested in Germany and the United States

     The U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced on March 16, 2020, that it has started the first clinical trial testing a vaccine against the new coronavirus.

     A total of 45 healthy people will benefit from this vaccine. The clinical trial will take place over 6 weeks in Seattle. If the test was set up quickly, the vaccine will not be on the market for a year, or even 18 months, if all goes well.

     In Germany, a potential future vaccine is being studied. It is being developed by the CureVac laboratory, which specializes in the development of vaccines containing genetic material.

     Instead of introducing a weakly active form of virus-like conventional vaccines, so that the body makes antibodies, CureVac injects molecules directly into cells that will help the body defend itself against the virus.

     The vaccine developed by CureVac actually contains messenger RNA (mRNA), a molecule that resembles DNA.

     This mRNA will allow the body to make the protein that will help the body fight the virus that causes Covid-19 disease.

     To date, none of the vaccines developed by CureVac have been commercialized.

A clinical trial on drugs already on the market

     The Institut Pasteur has announced that a clinical trial piloted by Inserm will soon be set up. It aims to "evaluate and compare four therapeutic combinations":
  • Remdesivir (an antiviral developed to treat Ebola virus disease).
  • Lopinavir (an antiviral used against HIV).
  • The combination lopinavir + interferon (a protein that boosts the immune defenses).
      Each will be associated with non-specific and symptomatic treatments for Covid-19 disease.
  • Non-specific and symptomatic treatments alone.
     This work will include 3200 hospitalized patients, including 800 in France. This clinical trial will be progressive.

     If one of the selected molecules is ineffective, it will be abandoned. Conversely, if one of them works on one of the patients, it may be tested on all patients as part of the trial.

The Discovery trial in the treatment of Covid-19

     Since March 23, 2020, a European clinical trial, called Discovery, has been evaluating four experimental treatments against Covid-19. Inserm, as part of the Reacting Consortium, is coordinating this trial: at least 800 French patients suffering from severe forms of Covid-19 are involved.

     Inserm specifies that "The objective is to evaluate the efficacy and safety of four experimental therapeutic strategies that could have an effect against COVID-19 in the light of current scientific data. ».

     The Discovery trial will take shape with five treatment modalities, tested randomly on patients suffering from the severe form of coronavirus :
  • standard care
  • standard care plus remodeling,
  • standard care plus lopinavir and ritonavir,
  • standard care plus lopinavir, ritonavir and interferon beta
  • standard care plus hydroxy-chloroquine.

Samir Sali

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