Preprint Hypothesis Version 3 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

The Clinically Validated Viral Superinfection Therapy (SIT) Platform Technology May Mitigate Severe Cases of COVID-19 Infections

Version 1 : Received: 11 February 2020 / Approved: 11 February 2020 / Online: 11 February 2020 (11:54:03 CET)
Version 2 : Received: 4 March 2020 / Approved: 4 March 2020 / Online: 4 March 2020 (11:08:41 CET)
Version 3 : Received: 19 March 2020 / Approved: 20 March 2020 / Online: 20 March 2020 (09:31:54 CET)

How to cite: Kovesdi, I.; Ranst, M.V.; Chumakov, P.M.; Sandig, V.; Bakacs, T. The Clinically Validated Viral Superinfection Therapy (SIT) Platform Technology May Mitigate Severe Cases of COVID-19 Infections. Preprints 2020, 2020020147 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202002.0147.v3). Kovesdi, I.; Ranst, M.V.; Chumakov, P.M.; Sandig, V.; Bakacs, T. The Clinically Validated Viral Superinfection Therapy (SIT) Platform Technology May Mitigate Severe Cases of COVID-19 Infections. Preprints 2020, 2020020147 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202002.0147.v3).

Abstract

The transmission characteristic of COVID-19 is of similar magnitude to severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and the 1918 pandemic influenza. The virus is now in more than 100 countries and on nearly all continents. The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic. There is no current evidence from random clinical trials (RCTs) to recommend any specific anti-COVID-19 treatment for patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection. In order to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, here we propose an innovative superinfection therapeutic (SIT) strategy, which could complement the development of prophylactic vaccines. SIT is based on clinical observations that unrelated viruses might interact in co-infected patients. During SIT, the patient benefit from superinfection with an apathogenic dsRNA virus such as the infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV), which is a powerful activator of the interferon-dependent antiviral gene program. An attenuated vaccine strain of IBDV was already successfully administered to resolve acute and persistent infections induced by two completely different viruses, the hepatitis B (DNA) and C (RNA) viruses (HBV/HCV). Importantly, the epidemiological efficacy of a similar strategy to SIT had already been successfully tested in large controlled trials. Standard live orally administered enterovirus vaccines that stimulate the production of endogenous interferon of the host mitigated the seasonal outbreaks of influenza and other associated acute respiratory infections in 152,042 individuals without adverse reactions.

Subject Areas

new coronavirus; 2019-nCoV; superinfection therapy (SIT); apathogenic dsRNA virus; interferon-dependent antiviral genes; broad-spectrum antiviral treatment; clinically tested.

Comments (1)

Comment 1
Received: 20 March 2020
Commenter: Tibor Bakacs
Commenter's Conflict of Interests: Author
Comment: IFNs are the most potent innate protection when we are immunologically naïve and this response is declining rapidly in aged people. It has been shown very recently that in contrast to SARS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2 is extremely sensitive to type I IFNs. In Vero cells, IFN alpha treatment reduces SARS-CoV-2 titers by 3-4 orders of magnitude while SARS-CoV replication is reduced only 5-10 fold which makes IBDV R903/78`s interferon activation properties promising to counter SARS-CoV-2 infection.
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