Fighting COVID-19: Latest Developments

Fighting COVID-19: Latest Developments

In these unprecedented times, there has been a lot of uncertainty and misinformation swirling. We, at DBC, want to lend some thought and clarity to the situation. We’ve been following the latest developments regarding the coronavirus and have been looking closely at the preliminary trials that have utilized hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin against COVID-19 in France. The controls were those who refused the treatment. In all, twenty cases were included in the study’s treatment group, treated with either hydroxychloroquine or a combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin. Day 6 of treatment revealed significant reduction of viral carriage compared to controls (those who refused treatment), and much lower duration. Azithromycin with hydroxychloroquine was “significantly more efficient for virus elimination”[1].

 

Hydroxychloroquine is an analogue of an old anti-malarial drug, chloroquine. It has a better safety profile and can be taken at larger doses for a longer period of time with fewer side-effects. However, it is still a very powerful drug and should only be taken at the direction and supervision of a physician. Hydroxychloroquine has had promising results in the treatment of SARS (another virus in the coronavirus family) in past research, so it was a natural progression to test it against COVID-19. Unfortunately, chloroquine drugs have a poor track record when it comes to safety and they become even more dangerous when administered to those with underlying health conditions. So, the search for a safer, more effective option raged on, as 1.2 billion people are at severe risk for malaria.

 

In 1972 Tu Youyou, a Chinese professor and scientist, turned to family recipes and traditional medicine to look for an alternative. Through this exhaustive process, she came across artemisinin, an extract from sweet wormwood that has potent antimalarial properties. When tested against chloroquine directly, it was found to be far more effective, as it was deadly to the parasite at all stages in the life cycle. Finally, in 2015, she received the Nobel Prize for her discovery and contribution to fighting this deadly parasite. Since its discovery, artemisinin has been thoroughly studied for its antiviral properties as well, with substantial outcomes[2].

 

While COVID-19 can be a scary infection, we’re starting to find powerful ways of fighting infection. While the France study is still preliminary and hasn’t been replicated on a large scale, we can still apply its findings to treatment in a safe, efficacious manner. Artemisinin can be a powerful therapy, as it’s safer than chloroquine and works in a similar manner. Allicin [3] has been studied against a broad range of antibiotics and found to be as or more effective.

Likewise, allicin has a large body of evidence as to its antimicrobial activity, and may even exceed certain antibiotics in its effectiveness. A recent scan of PubMed (essentially a warehouse of peer reviewed science articles) found 92 well done studies, one in particular caught our attention: “Allicin Improves Lung Injury Induced by Sepsis via Regulation of the Toll-like Receptor 4” [4].

Allicin, in combination with Artemisinin, we at DBC believe may work in a similar way as hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin.

 

Please consult your doctor before beginning any treatment.

 

References: 

  1. 1.Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin as a treatment of COVID-19: results of an open-label non-randomized clinical trial, International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents (2020), doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2020.105949
  2. Su XZ, Miller LH. The discovery of artemisinin and the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Sci China Life Sci. 2015;58(11):1175–1179. doi:10.1007/s11427-015-4948-7
  3. Abiy E, Berhe A. Anti-Bacterial Effect of Garlic (Allium sativum) against Clinical Isolates of Staphylococcus aureusand Escherichia coli from Patients Attending Hawassa Referral Hospital, Ethiopia. J Infec Dis Treat. 2016, 2:2. doi:10.21767/2472-1093.100023
  4. Shen, Ning, et al. Allicin Improves Lung Injury Induced by Sepsis via Regulation of the Toll-Like Receptor 4 (TLR4)/Myeloid Differentiation Primary Response 88 (MYD88)/Nuclear Factor kappa B (NF-κB) Pathway. NCBI, 8 Apr. 2019, doi: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6467176/.

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