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COVID-19

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A new possible indication of direct-acting anti-hepatitis C drugs in the therapeutic management of COVID-19: A narrative literature review

Alireza Mashhadi Hemmatabadi ORCID logo, Fatemeh Jafari ORCID logo, Hesamoddin Hosseinjani* ORCID logo

Abstract

COVID-19 is the latest human crisis to hit most parts of the world since its emergence in China. High prevalence, rapid transmission, and high mortality rates make it necessary to find an effective therapy immediately. Repurposing the available drugs with well-known side effects is proven to be a viable and efficient way to treat this disease. The study purposed to evaluate the therapeutic effect of direct-acting anti-hepatitis C drugs in COVID-19 by reviewing the articles in PubMed, Scopus, Google Scholar, and Embase databases. Some studies mentioned a high similarity between the hepatitis C virus and coronavirus in genome structure and molecular properties. Accordingly, anti-HCV drugs can have a good preventive effect on the actions of SARS-CoV-2 structural and nonstructural proteins. Molecular docking results have shown that anti-hepatitis C drugs such as sofosbuvir, daclatasvir, simeprevir, and elbasvir tend to form various stable bonds with the active sites of essential SARS-CoV-2 proteins. So these drugs can disrupt viral replication and its pathogenesis. Among anti-HCV drugs, sofosbuvir and daclatasvir work efficiently in molecular and human studies. In some human studies, the addition of sofosbuvir/daclatasvir to the therapy of COVID-19 resulted in a shorter duration of hospitalization and higher recovery rates. However, the confirmation of these medications needs more detailed clinical studies in large patient populations.
Keywords: COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, Coronavirus, Hepatitis C, Antiviral, Sofosbuvir
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Submitted: 11 Dec 2020
Revision: 23 Apr 2021
Accepted: 30 Apr 2021
ePublished: 01 May 2021
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