Drs. Anabela Maia, Ph.D., Rhode Island College, and Martin D. Hellwig, Ph.D., Plymouth State University, have been studying the associations between different countries and their cases of COVID-19. With such variability between countries and COVID-19 cases, it can be challenging to determine medical commonalities between countries with a lower volume of infections. One aspect that has stood out is that countries that routinely administer prophylactic treatments like Ivermectin consistently have lower incidences of the virus. Could there be a correlation between a population’s use of the antiparasitic drug Ivermectin and lower incidence of COVID-19? The International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents published their fascinating findings.
African nations use higher quantities of Ivermectin, which is used to guard against parasitic infections. Dr. Maia and Dr. Hellwig surmised this connection to be related to Ivermectin’s ability to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 replication, thus causing lower rates of COVID-19 in their region. These doctors suggest that Ivermectin should be evaluated for off-label prophylactic use until safe and effective vaccines become widely available to the general population.
Studies of Alternative Treatments
Over the past year, as COVID-19 spread across the globe, doctors and researchers began investigating the possibilities of using existing drugs to treat COVID-19 until a vaccine can be administered to the public. Such alternative options that have been considered include malaria drugs, like Hydroxychloroquine and Chloroquine, and antiviral drugs, like Remdesivir. The most promising alternative that has gained public interest is antiparasitic, Ivermectin. With Ivermectin’s well-studied and understood safety profile, in combination with its promising results in treating early and mild cases of COVID-19, as well as its current availability, the question must be raised if it could be used as an effective prophylactic against SARS-CoV-2.
Drs. Anabela Maia and Martin D. Hellwig explain that if effective, the widespread use of Ivermectin as a prophylactic could potentially slow the spread of COVID-19, reducing the strain on the healthcare system while vaccines are studied, approved, and distributed. Committing increased research into this study would be valuable to the medical community and society at large.
Ivermectin Study Momentum
In parallel, TrialSite has spent the last several months chronicling many Ivermectin studies across the world: case series, observational studies, and randomized controlled trials. The data thus far looks promising although all credible experts agree that it’s imperative that additional data from randomized controlled trials is collected and analyzed to more adequately confirm true effectiveness.
Groups such as the Frontline COVID-19 Critical Care alliance (FLCCC) have picked up on these studies, further organizing, aggregating, and analyzing the results to further progress the medical discussion. Thanks to the FLCCC the Ivermectin discussion becomes ever more popular in the press.
Martin D. Hellwig, Ph.D., Plymouth State University, 16 High Street, Plymouth, NH, USA
Anabela Maia, Ph.D., Rhode Island College, 600 Mount Pleasant Avenue, Providence, RI, USA
Call to Action: Follow the link to read the entire study in the International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents.