Mefloquine, a Potent Anti-severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-Related Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Drug as an Entry Inhibitor in vitro

Kaho Shionoya, Masako Yamasaki, Shoya Iwanami, Yusuke Ito, Shuetsu Fukushi, Hirofumi Ohashi, Wakana Saso, Tomohiro Tanaka, Shin Aoki, Kouji Kuramochi, Shingo Iwami, Yoshimasa Takahashi, Tadaki Suzuki, Masamichi Muramatsu, Makoto Takeda, Takaji Wakita, Koichi Watashi

研究成果: Article査読

9 被引用数 (Scopus)


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has caused serious public health, social, and economic damage worldwide and effective drugs that prevent or cure COVID-19 are urgently needed. Approved drugs including Hydroxychloroquine, Remdesivir or Interferon were reported to inhibit the infection or propagation of severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), however, their clinical efficacies have not yet been well demonstrated. To identify drugs with higher antiviral potency, we screened approved anti-parasitic/anti-protozoal drugs and identified an anti-malarial drug, Mefloquine, which showed the highest anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity among the tested compounds. Mefloquine showed higher anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity than Hydroxychloroquine in VeroE6/TMPRSS2 and Calu-3 cells, with IC50 = 1.28 μM, IC90 = 2.31 μM, and IC99 = 4.39 μM in VeroE6/TMPRSS2 cells. Mefloquine inhibited viral entry after viral attachment to the target cell. Combined treatment with Mefloquine and Nelfinavir, a replication inhibitor, showed synergistic antiviral activity. Our mathematical modeling based on the drug concentration in the lung predicted that Mefloquine administration at a standard treatment dosage could decline viral dynamics in patients, reduce cumulative viral load to 7% and shorten the time until virus elimination by 6.1 days. These data cumulatively underscore Mefloquine as an anti-SARS-CoV-2 entry inhibitor.

ジャーナルFrontiers in Microbiology
出版ステータスPublished - 30 4月 2021


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