In recent months, the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has emerged as a worldwide threat with about 4.2 million confirmed cases and almost 300 000 deaths. Its major clinical presentation is characterized by respiratory symptoms ranging from mild cough to serve pneumonia with fever and potentially even death. Until today, there is no known medication to improve clinical symptoms or even prevent or fight the infection.
The coronavirus infection (COVID-19) has turned in to a global catastrophe and there is an intense search for effective drug therapy. Of all the potential therapies, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine have been the focus of tremendous public attention. Both drugs have been used in the treatment and prophylaxis of malaria and long-term use of hydroxychloroquine is the cornerstone in the treatment of several auto-immune disorders.
Malaria is a threat to human mankind and kills about half a million people every year. On the other hand, COVID‐19 resulted in several hundred thousand deaths since December 2019 and remains without an efficient and safe treatment. The antimalarials chloroquine (CQ) and its analogue, hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), have been tested for COVID‐19 treatment, and several conflicting evidence has been obtained.
In The Lancet Global Health, Alexandra Hogan and colleagues1 report the findings of a modelling study in which they estimate the number of excess deaths from HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria that could plausibly occur as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chloroquine (CQ) and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), originally were prescribed for prevention or treatment of malaria, but now successfully are used in several rheumatologic diseases. In addition, in recent decades considering their immunomodulatory effects, high tolerably and low cost, they are evaluated for various viral infections from HIV to COVID-19.
Chloroquine (CQ) and its analogue hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) have been thrust into our everyday vernacular because some believe, based on very limited basic and clinical data, that they might be helpful in preventing and/or lessening the severity of the pandemic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). However, lacking is a temperance in enthusiasm for their possible use as well as sufficient perspective on their effects and side-effects. CQ and HCQ have well-known properties of being diprotic weak bases that preferentially accumulate in acidic organelles (endolysosomes and Golgi apparatus) and neutralize luminal pH of acidic organelles.
To the Editor: In ongoing pandemic of novel corona virus disease (COVID-19), clinicians are observing atypical manifestations of the disease.
The COVID-19 pandemic, caused by SARS-CoV-2, have surpassed 5 million cases globally. Current models suggest that low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) will have a similar incidence but substantially lower mortality rate than high-income countries. However, malaria and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are prevalent in LMICs, and coinfections are likely.
As COVID -19 continues to dominate the health and political agendas in so many countries around the world, so does its devastating impact on other diseases become apparent. Malaria is just one of these.
Clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) for the treatment of coronavirus infection-2019 (COVID-19) are moving forward on the heels of conflicting, and sometimes controversial, observational studies out of China and France from the first months of the pandemic.