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To consider or not antimalarials as a prophylactic intervention in the SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) pandemic
  1. Francesca Romana Spinelli,
  2. Fulvia Ceccarelli,
  3. Manuela Di Franco,
  4. Fabrizio Conti
  1. Dipartimento di Scienze Cliniche, Internistiche, Anestesiologiche e Cardiovascolari—Reumatologia, Sapienza University of Rome, Roma, Lazio, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Dr Francesca Romana Spinelli, Dipartimento di Scienze Cliniche, Internistiche, Anestesiologiche e Cardiovascolari - Reumatologia, Sapienza University of Rome, Roma, Lazio 00161, Italy; francescaromana.spinelli{at}uniroma1.it

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These days, the entire scientific community is facing the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) emergency, characterised last 11 March by WHO as a pandemic. Social behaviour modification measures may somehow limit the spreading of the infection. However, in the case of an extremely contagious pathogen, the huge number of infected people may be a challenge for the health system. What if there was a prophylactic drug?

In the light of their in vitro effect and early clinical results, antimalarial drugs chloroquine (CQ) and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) have been proposed for patients with SARS-CoV2-related pneumonia (Covid-19) and are now included in the Chinese guidelines for the management of Covid-19 (version 7, 3 March 2020).

Antiviral activity of antimalarials has been known for more than 10 years (see online supplementary text).

Supplementary data

[annrheumdis-2020-217367supp001.pdf]

Recently, Wang et al demonstrated that at low micromolar concentration CQ was able to potently block viral replication of Covid-19, in vitro; the …

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