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Study of the Efficacy and Safety of Topical Ivermectin + IotaCarrageenan in the Prophylaxis against COVID-19 in Health Personnel

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Hector Carvallo
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The severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 pandemic has had devastating health and socio-economic implications worldwide. Epidemiologic data indicate that SARS-CoV2 is spread by respiratory droplets and contact. The lack of acquired human immunity to the virus and the absence of a vaccine, has meant that current management strategies aimed at virus containment through mask wearing, social distancing and enforced lockdowns. Although the World Health Organization recommends 1,5 meters distancing to minimize transmission, recent studies have demonstrated high stability in aerosols and transmission distances up to 10 meters from emission sources . Health care workers are at particular risk from SARS-CoV-2. At present, no reliable prophylactic therapy exists to minimize their risk of acquiring SARS-CoV-2, and so they rely solely upon hand hygiene and the wearing of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), which is often in limited supply. Several studies have shown that the salivary gland and tongue express the ACE2 receptor, suggesting that the oral cavity is a perfect host for the invasion of COVID. Theoretically, agents that can inhibit viral adhesion and replication within the primary sites of viral entry (the nasal and oral cavity), may have a role in preventing SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Use of these agents prophylactically, would be especially beneficial in health care workers, particularly given the delay in results from viral RNA detection diagnostic test and the fact that many infected patients may have mild or no symptoms of the virus in the early stages. Two possible substances have been identified as candidate prophylactic agents in the fight against SARS-CoV-2. Carrageenans are naturally occurring extracts from the Rhodophyceas seaweed. Recently, the viricidal capacity of carrageenan has been reported, through inhibition of viral- host cell adhesion and early replication. Iota-carrageenan demonstrates potent antiviral activity in vitro, reducing rhinovirus, herpes simplex virus and the Japanese encephalitis virus reproduction and their cytopathic effects. Similarly, ivermectin has also been shown to posess antiviral activity against a whole host of RNA viruses (Zika, dengue, yellow fever, human immunodeficiency virus type 1). Thus, the combination of both products can provide an extra protection for those at risk of contagion.