There is an urgent need to identify antivirals to curtail the COVID-19 pandemic. Herein, we report the sensitivity of SARS-CoV-2 to recombinant human interferons α and β (IFNα/β). Treatment with IFN-α or IFN-β at a concentration of 50 international units (IU) per milliliter reduces viral titers by 3.4 log or over 4 log, respectively, in Vero cells. The EC50 of IFN-α and IFN-β treatment is 1.35 IU/ml and 0.76 IU/ml, respectively, in Vero cells. These results suggest that SARS-CoV-2 is more sensitive than many other human pathogenic viruses, including SARS-CoV. Overall, our results demonstrate the potential efficacy of human Type I IFN in suppressing SARS-CoV-2 infection, a finding which could inform future treatment options for COVID-19.
Keywords: Antiviral therapy; COVID-19; Innate immune; Interferon; SARS-CoV-2.
Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.