Broad Spectrum Antiviral Agent Niclosamide and Its Therapeutic Potential

ACS Infect Dis. 2020 May 8;6(5):909-915. doi: 10.1021/acsinfecdis.0c00052. Epub 2020 Mar 10.


The recent outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) highlights an urgent need for therapeutics. Through a series of drug repurposing screening campaigns, niclosamide, an FDA-approved anthelminthic drug, was found to be effective against various viral infections with nanomolar to micromolar potency such as SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, ZIKV, HCV, and human adenovirus, indicating its potential as an antiviral agent. In this brief review, we summarize the broad antiviral activity of niclosamide and highlight its potential clinical use in the treatment of COVID-19.

Keywords: Ebola virus; MERS-CoV; SARS-CoV; SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19); Zika virus; broad antiviral agents; coronavirus; flavivirus; human adenovirus; niclosamide.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology*
  • Betacoronavirus / drug effects
  • Coronavirus Infections / drug therapy*
  • Drug Repositioning*
  • Humans
  • Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus / drug effects
  • Niclosamide / pharmacology*
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / drug therapy*
  • SARS Virus / drug effects


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Niclosamide

Supplementary concepts

  • COVID-19
  • COVID-19 drug treatment
  • severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2