Apr 5, 2020

Potent Antiviral Activities of Type I Interferons to SARS-CoV-2 Infection

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
E. K. MantloCheng Huang


The historical outbreak of COVID-19 disease not only constitutes a global public health crisis, but also has a devastating social and economic impact. The disease is caused by a newly identified coronavirus, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). There is an urgent need to identify antivirals to curtail the COVID-19 pandemic. Herein, we report the remarkable sensitivity of SARS-CoV-2 to recombinant human interferons and {beta} (IFN/{beta}). Treatment with IFN- or IFN-{beta} at a concentration of 50 international units (IU) per milliliter drastically reduce viral titers by 3.4 log or 4.5 log, respectively in Vero cells. The EC50 of IFN- and IFN-{beta} treatment is 1.35 IU/ml and 0.76 IU/ml, respectively, in Vero cells. These results suggested that SARS-CoV-2 is more sensitive to many other human pathogenic viruses, including the SARS-CoV. Overall, our results demonstrate the potent efficacy of human Type I IFN in suppressing SARS-CoV-2 replication, a finding which could inform future treatment options for COVID-19.

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