Macrolide treatment for COVID-19: Will this be the way forward?

Biosci Trends. 2020 May 21;14(2):159-160. doi: 10.5582/bst.2020.03058. Epub 2020 Apr 5.

Abstract

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.

Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; macrolide.

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / chemistry
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology
  • Betacoronavirus / drug effects*
  • Betacoronavirus / enzymology
  • Betacoronavirus / isolation & purification
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / drug therapy*
  • Coronavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • Coronavirus Infections / virology
  • Humans
  • Macrolides / chemistry
  • Macrolides / pharmacology*
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / drug therapy*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology
  • Pneumonia, Viral / virology
  • Protease Inhibitors / chemistry
  • Protease Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Structure-Activity Relationship

Substances

  • Antiviral Agents
  • Macrolides
  • Protease Inhibitors

Supplementary concepts

  • COVID-19 drug treatment