Since I’m posting a day late and trying to catch back up, I wanted to make a short post about this recent journal article which summarizes past research on the antiviral properties of Chloroquine. Since the COVID-19 pandemic is such a big effect on the world right now, I was curious if ripples of this event could be felt in the past. I found the following:
We raise the question of whether this old drug whose parent compound, quinine, was isolated in the late 19th century from the bark of the tropical cinchona tree, may experience a revival in the clinical management of viral diseases of the era of globalisation.
and also this quote seems relevant due to possibility that SARS-CoV-2 induced cytokine storm is being seen in some COVID-19 patients:
The chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine-induced suppression of the synthesis of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as TNFα may be beneficial in decreasing the inappropriate immune activation characteristic of HIV infection.
and this suppression of the synthesis of pro-inflammatory cytokines is also given as a hypothetical mechanism of action in SARS cases.
and this final summary of the paper deserves special recognition:
Finally, we want to share with the scientific community the speculative hypothesis that chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine, due to its antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties, may have some effect on SARS. We emphasise the need of testing in cell cultures infected with SARS coronavirus the effects of chloroquine, as well as those ofother substances possessing in-vitro activity against members of the coronaviridae family. We should remember that the possibility of new outbreaks of SARS cannot be excluded. In the absence of effective inhibitors of SARS coronavirus, the possibility of an inhibition, at least in vitro, of the replication of this virus would represent a breakthrough in the knowledge of SARS.
We have identified chloroquine as an effective antiviral agent for SARS-CoV in cell culture conditions, as evidenced by its inhibitory effect when the drug was added prior to infection or after the initiation and establishment of infection. The fact that chloroquine exerts an antiviral effect during pre- and post-infection conditions suggest that it is likely to have both prophylactic and therapeutic advantages.
The broad spectrum antiviral effects of chloroquine deserve particular attention in a time in which the world is threatened by the possibility of a new influenza pandemic, and the availability of effective drugs would be fundamental during evaluation of an effective vaccine.