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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).
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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