Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Can Melatonin Reduce the Severity of COVID-19 Pandemic?

Version 1 : Received: 1 April 2020 / Approved: 8 April 2020 / Online: 8 April 2020 (08:13:26 CEST)
Version 2 : Received: 8 April 2020 / Approved: 9 April 2020 / Online: 9 April 2020 (09:24:47 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Journal reference: International Reviews of Immunology 2020
DOI: 10.1080/08830185.2020.1756284

Abstract

The current COVID-19 pandemic is one of the most devastating events in recent history. The virus causes relatively minor damage to young, healthy populations, imposing life-threatening danger to the elderly and people with diseases of chronic inflammation. So, if we could reduce the risk for vulnerable populations, it would make the COVID-19 pandemic more similar to other typical outbreaks. Children do not suffer from COVID-19 as much as their grandparents and have a much higher melatonin level. Bats also do not suffer from the virus they transmit, and bats too have a much higher level of melatonin. Viruses generate an explosion of reactive oxygen species, and melatonin is the best natural antioxidant that is lost with age. Melatonin inhibits the programmed cell death which coronaviruses induce, causing significant lung damage. Coronavirus causes inflammation in the lungs which requires inflammasome activity. Melatonin blocks the inflammasome. The immune response is impaired by anxiety and sleep deprivation. Melatonin improves sleep habits, reduces anxiety and stimulates immunity. Fibrosis may be the most dangerous complication after COVID-19. Melatonin is known to prevent fibrosis. Mechanical ventilation may be necessary but yet imposes risks due to oxidative stress, which can be reduced by melatonin. Thus, by using the safe over-the-counter drug melatonin, we may be immediately able to prevent the development of severe disease symptoms in coronavirus patients, reduce the severity of their symptoms, and/or reduce the negative effects of coronavirus infection on patients’ health after the active phase of the infection is over.

Subject Areas

melatonin; coronavirus; pandemic; SARS-CoV-2; bat; lung; p62; apoptosis; programmed cell death; mortality; morbidity; prevention; vaccine; adjuvant; drug; symptoms

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