A new article in the Journal of Cellular Physiology from September 22 looks at a real-world problem: while we do have some evidence that ivermectin is useful for COVID-19, the mechanism by which the drug works has been less clear. Noting that ivermectin inhibits SARS-CoV-2 replication in vitro, the authors sought to locate ivermectin-related virus-pathway alterations using human cancel cells. The method focused on “quantitative proteomics;” the proteome is all the proteins made by an organism, and proteomics is the large-scale study of proteins. This study purports to be the, “first to provide ivermectin‐regulated virus‐related pathways by SILAC (Stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture) quantitative proteomics analysis, which revealed a broad‐spectrum antiviral property of ivermectin.” Also, the ivermectin-regulated proteins included SARS-CoV-2-related proteins, and this might help in using ivermectin-related biomarkers in treating COVID-19. The authors expect their results to, “guide efforts to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying ivermectin used for the treatment of SARS‐CoV‐2 infection.”
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The study essentially “tagged” the ivermectin molecules, so researchers could track their journey and activity when subjected to a variety of pathogens. It showed antiviral activity against both HIV and COVID-19. Even more, it seemed to have anti-inflammatory/immunosuppressive properties which likely help with the “cytokine storm.” Importantly, before this study “naysayers” could point to a lack of evidence for ivermectin mechanisms against COVID-19. The journal article is an effective rebuttal to these views.