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      A Randomized Trial of Hydroxychloroquine as Postexposure Prophylaxis for Covid-19

      , M.D., M.P.H., , M.D., , M.S., , B.Sc., , M.D., , B.Sc., , M.D., , B.A., , Pharm.D., Ph.D., , D.O., M.P.H., , M.S., , M.D., , Pharm.D., , M.D., , M.D., M.P.H., , M.D., , R.N., , M.D., , Ph.D., , M.D., Ph.D., , M.D., , M.D., , M.D., M.P.H., , Ph.D.

      The New England Journal of Medicine

      Massachusetts Medical Society

      Keyword part (code): 18Keyword part (keyword): Infectious DiseaseKeyword part (code): 18_1Keyword part (keyword): Infectious Disease GeneralKeyword part (code): 18_6Keyword part (keyword): Viral InfectionsKeyword part (code): 18_9Keyword part (keyword): Global HealthKeyword part (code): 18_11Keyword part (keyword): Influenza , 18, Infectious Disease, Keyword part (code): 18_1Keyword part (keyword): Infectious Disease GeneralKeyword part (code): 18_6Keyword part (keyword): Viral InfectionsKeyword part (code): 18_9Keyword part (keyword): Global HealthKeyword part (code): 18_11Keyword part (keyword): Influenza , 18_1, Infectious Disease General, 18_6, Viral Infections, 18_9, Global Health, 18_11, Influenza

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          Abstract

          Background

          Coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) occurs after exposure to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). For persons who are exposed, the standard of care is observation and quarantine. Whether hydroxychloroquine can prevent symptomatic infection after SARS-CoV-2 exposure is unknown.

          Methods

          We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial across the United States and parts of Canada testing hydroxychloroquine as postexposure prophylaxis. We enrolled adults who had household or occupational exposure to someone with confirmed Covid-19 at a distance of less than 6 ft for more than 10 minutes while wearing neither a face mask nor an eye shield (high-risk exposure) or while wearing a face mask but no eye shield (moderate-risk exposure). Within 4 days after exposure, we randomly assigned participants to receive either placebo or hydroxychloroquine (800 mg once, followed by 600 mg in 6 to 8 hours, then 600 mg daily for 4 additional days). The primary outcome was the incidence of either laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 or illness compatible with Covid-19 within 14 days.

          Results

          We enrolled 821 asymptomatic participants. Overall, 87.6% of the participants (719 of 821) reported a high-risk exposure to a confirmed Covid-19 contact. The incidence of new illness compatible with Covid-19 did not differ significantly between participants receiving hydroxychloroquine (49 of 414 [11.8%]) and those receiving placebo (58 of 407 [14.3%]); the absolute difference was −2.4 percentage points (95% confidence interval, −7.0 to 2.2; P=0.35). Side effects were more common with hydroxychloroquine than with placebo (40.1% vs. 16.8%), but no serious adverse reactions were reported.

          Conclusions

          After high-risk or moderate-risk exposure to Covid-19, hydroxychloroquine did not prevent illness compatible with Covid-19 or confirmed infection when used as postexposure prophylaxis within 4 days after exposure. (Funded by David Baszucki and Jan Ellison Baszucki and others; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04308668.)

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          Most cited references 17

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          Early Transmission Dynamics in Wuhan, China, of Novel Coronavirus–Infected Pneumonia

           Qun Li,  Xuhua Guan,  Peng Wu (2020)
          Abstract Background The initial cases of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)–infected pneumonia (NCIP) occurred in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, in December 2019 and January 2020. We analyzed data on the first 425 confirmed cases in Wuhan to determine the epidemiologic characteristics of NCIP. Methods We collected information on demographic characteristics, exposure history, and illness timelines of laboratory-confirmed cases of NCIP that had been reported by January 22, 2020. We described characteristics of the cases and estimated the key epidemiologic time-delay distributions. In the early period of exponential growth, we estimated the epidemic doubling time and the basic reproductive number. Results Among the first 425 patients with confirmed NCIP, the median age was 59 years and 56% were male. The majority of cases (55%) with onset before January 1, 2020, were linked to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, as compared with 8.6% of the subsequent cases. The mean incubation period was 5.2 days (95% confidence interval [CI], 4.1 to 7.0), with the 95th percentile of the distribution at 12.5 days. In its early stages, the epidemic doubled in size every 7.4 days. With a mean serial interval of 7.5 days (95% CI, 5.3 to 19), the basic reproductive number was estimated to be 2.2 (95% CI, 1.4 to 3.9). Conclusions On the basis of this information, there is evidence that human-to-human transmission has occurred among close contacts since the middle of December 2019. Considerable efforts to reduce transmission will be required to control outbreaks if similar dynamics apply elsewhere. Measures to prevent or reduce transmission should be implemented in populations at risk. (Funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China and others.)
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            In Vitro Antiviral Activity and Projection of Optimized Dosing Design of Hydroxychloroquine for the Treatment of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)

            Abstract Background The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) first broke out in Wuhan (China) and subsequently spread worldwide. Chloroquine has been sporadically used in treating SARS-CoV-2 infection. Hydroxychloroquine shares the same mechanism of action as chloroquine, but its more tolerable safety profile makes it the preferred drug to treat malaria and autoimmune conditions. We propose that the immunomodulatory effect of hydroxychloroquine also may be useful in controlling the cytokine storm that occurs late-phase in critically ill SARS-CoV-2 infected patients. Currently, there is no evidence to support the use of hydroxychloroquine in SARS-CoV-2 infection. Methods The pharmacological activity of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine was tested using SARS-CoV-2 infected Vero cells. Physiologically-based pharmacokinetic models (PBPK) were implemented for both drugs separately by integrating their in vitro data. Using the PBPK models, hydroxychloroquine concentrations in lung fluid were simulated under 5 different dosing regimens to explore the most effective regimen whilst considering the drug’s safety profile. Results Hydroxychloroquine (EC50=0.72 μM) was found to be more potent than chloroquine (EC50=5.47 μM) in vitro. Based on PBPK models results, a loading dose of 400 mg twice daily of hydroxychloroquine sulfate given orally, followed by a maintenance dose of 200 mg given twice daily for 4 days is recommended for SARS-CoV-2 infection, as it reached three times the potency of chloroquine phosphate when given 500 mg twice daily 5 days in advance. Conclusions Hydroxychloroquine was found to be more potent than chloroquine to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 in vitro.
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              Chloroquine is a potent inhibitor of SARS coronavirus infection and spread

              Background Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is caused by a newly discovered coronavirus (SARS-CoV). No effective prophylactic or post-exposure therapy is currently available. Results We report, however, that chloroquine has strong antiviral effects on SARS-CoV infection of primate cells. These inhibitory effects are observed when the cells are treated with the drug either before or after exposure to the virus, suggesting both prophylactic and therapeutic advantage. In addition to the well-known functions of chloroquine such as elevations of endosomal pH, the drug appears to interfere with terminal glycosylation of the cellular receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2. This may negatively influence the virus-receptor binding and abrogate the infection, with further ramifications by the elevation of vesicular pH, resulting in the inhibition of infection and spread of SARS CoV at clinically admissible concentrations. Conclusion Chloroquine is effective in preventing the spread of SARS CoV in cell culture. Favorable inhibition of virus spread was observed when the cells were either treated with chloroquine prior to or after SARS CoV infection. In addition, the indirect immunofluorescence assay described herein represents a simple and rapid method for screening SARS-CoV antiviral compounds.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                N Engl J Med
                N. Engl. J. Med
                nejm
                The New England Journal of Medicine
                Massachusetts Medical Society
                0028-4793
                1533-4406
                03 June 2020
                03 June 2020
                Affiliations
                From the University of Minnesota (D.R.B., M.F.P., A.S.B., K.A.P., S.M.L., E.C.O., C.P.S., A.A.N., M.R.N., M.A., N.W.E., R.R., K.H.H.) and M Health Fairview Investigational Drug Service Pharmacy (D.L.), Minneapolis; and the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre and the Clinical Practice Assessment Unit, Department of Medicine, McGill University, Montreal (M.P.C., E.G.M., T.C.L.), the Department of Internal Medicine, University of Manitoba (S.A.L., L.J.M., G.D., N.M., R.Z.), the Research Institute in Oncology and Hematology, CancerCare Manitoba, University of Manitoba (R.Z.), and the George and Fay Yee Centre for Healthcare Innovation (L.E.K.), Winnipeg, and the University of Alberta, Edmonton (I.S.S.) — all in Canada.
                Author notes
                Address reprint requests to Dr. Boulware at the University of Minnesota, 689 23rd Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55455, or at boulw001@ 123456umn.edu .
                Article
                NJ202006033830003
                10.1056/NEJMoa2016638
                7289276
                32492293
                Copyright © 2020 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved.

                This article is made available via the PMC Open Access Subset for unrestricted re-use, except commercial resale, and analyses in any form or by any means with acknowledgment of the original source. These permissions are granted for the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic or until revoked in writing. Upon expiration of these permissions, PMC is granted a license to make this article available via PMC and Europe PMC, subject to existing copyright protections.

                Product
                Funding
                Funded by: University of Minnesota Foundation, FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100007249;
                Funded by: Jan and David Baszucki, FundRef ;
                Funded by: Alliance of Minnesota Chinese Organizations, FundRef ;
                Funded by: Minnesota Chinese Chamber of Commerce, FundRef ;
                Categories
                Original Article
                Custom metadata
                2020-06-03T17:00:00-04:00
                2020
                06
                03
                17
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