Interferon-alpha position in combating with COVID-19: A systematic review

J Med Virol. 2021 Sep;93(9):5277-5284. doi: 10.1002/jmv.27072. Epub 2021 Jun 8.


The newborn coronaivus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has become the foremost concern of health system worldwide. Interferon typeI (IFN-I) are among the well-known antiviruses. Hence IFN-α have gained much attention as a treatment for COVID-19 recently. To sum up the efficiency of IFN-α against COVID-19, we searched PubMed, SCOPUS, and EMBASE, from the date of genesis to the 1st of October 2020. Discharge from hospital and virus clearance considered as primary and secondary outcomes, respectively. We compared the aforementioned outcomes of patients treated with standard care protocol and the patients treated with IFN-α in addition to standard care protocol. Out of 356 identified records, 14 studies were subjected for full-text screening. Finally, a systematic review was performed with inclusion of five studies. Majority of the participants were males (ranged from 43.50% to 90.0%). We found that time of viral clearance and polymerase chain reaction negative (days) in most studies were decreased in the INF-α + standard care group. The mean days of virus's clearance in INF-α group and standard group reported 27.3 and 32.43. Likewise, the average days of hospitalization was found also lower in INF-α group (18.55 vs. 24.36). This study provides a stand to conclude that early administration of INF-α may be accounted as a promising treatment of COVID-19.

Keywords: COVID-19; discharge; interferon; systematic review.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antiviral Agents / administration & dosage*
  • COVID-19 Drug Treatment*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interferon-alpha / administration & dosage*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Interferon-alpha