Generic placeholder image

Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry


ISSN (Print): 1568-0266
ISSN (Online): 1873-4294

Clinical Trial

The Effect of Recombinant Human Interferon Alpha Nasal Drops to Prevent COVID-19 Pneumonia for Medical Staff in an Epidemic Area

Author(s): Zhongji Meng, Tongyu Wang, Li Chen, Xinhe Chen, Longti Li, Xueqin Qin, Hai Li* and Jie Luo*

Volume 21, Issue 10, 2021

Published on: 29 April, 2021

Page: [920 - 927] Pages: 8

DOI: 10.2174/1568026621666210429083050

Price: $65


Background: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), known as Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19), has caused the sixth world’s public health emergency. Healthcare staff, as the frontline population fighting the pandemic, are exposed to a high risk of infection. Therefore, developing a protective intervention for medical staff is of significant importance.

Objective: The aim of the study was to explore the effectiveness and safety of recombinant human interferon alpha (rhIFN-α) nasal drops for the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) through administering it to medical staff.

Methods: This was a prospective open-label clinical trial with parallel intervention assignment conducted on 2944 medical staff including both doctors and nurses from Taihe Hospital, Shiyan City, Hubei Province, China from January 21, 2020 to July 30, 2020. The participants were bifurcated into two groups of low risk and high risk groups according to the level of direct exposure to COVID-19 patients. The individuals of the low-risk group received rhIFN-α nasal drops for one month in addition to first level protection, and the high-risk group received a combination of rhIFN-α nasal drops coupled with thymosin-α1 with either second or third-level protection protocol. Moreover, the new-outset of COVID-19 pneumonia diagnosed by chest computed tomography (CT), after thirty days, was the primary outcome. The adverse reactions were recorded in all participants.

Results: 2415 of 2944 individuals belonged to the low-risk group, while 529 to the high-risk group. There was no COVID-19 pneumonia in either of the group after thirty days. The pulmonary CT scans were negative for COVID-19 pneumonia in both the groups with no new clinical symptoms. No serious adverse event was observed during the course of the intervention.

Conclusion: The rhIFN-α nasal drops along with augmented safeguards based on standard physical isolation could effectively protect medical staff against COVID-19 pneumonia.

Keywords: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), respiratory syndrome, prophylaxis, medical staff, thymosin-α1, IFN-α nasal drops.

« Previous
Li, Q.; Guan, X.; Wu, P.; Wang, X.; Zhou, L.; Tong, Y.; Ren, R.; Leung, K.S.M.; Lau, E.H.Y.; Wong, J.Y.; Xing, X.; Xiang, N.; Wu, Y.; Li, C.; Chen, Q.; Li, D.; Liu, T.; Zhao, J.; Liu, M.; Tu, W.; Chen, C.; Jin, L.; Yang, R.; Wang, Q.; Zhou, S.; Wang, R.; Liu, H.; Luo, Y.; Liu, Y.; Shao, G.; Li, H.; Tao, Z.; Yang, Y.; Deng, Z.; Liu, B.; Ma, Z.; Zhang, Y.; Shi, G.; Lam, T.T.Y.; Wu, J.T.; Gao, G.F.; Cowling, B.J.; Yang, B.; Leung, G.M.; Feng, Z. Early transmission dynamics in Wuhan, China, of novel coronavirus-infected pneumonia. N. Engl. J. Med., 2020, 382(13), 1199-1207.
[] [PMID: 31995857]
Huang, C.; Wang, Y.; Li, X.; Ren, L.; Zhao, J.; Hu, Y.; Zhang, L.; Fan, G.; Xu, J.; Gu, X.; Cheng, Z.; Yu, T.; Xia, J.; Wei, Y.; Wu, W.; Xie, X.; Yin, W.; Li, H.; Liu, M.; Xiao, Y.; Gao, H.; Guo, L.; Xie, J.; Wang, G.; Jiang, R.; Gao, Z.; Jin, Q.; Wang, J.; Cao, B. Clinical features of patients infected with 2019 novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China. Lancet, 2020, 395(10223), 497-506.
[] [PMID: 31986264]
World Health Organization Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) situation report. 2020. Available from:
Pan, A.; Liu, L.; Wang, C.; Guo, H.; Hao, X.; Wang, Q.; Huang, J.; He, N.; Yu, H.; Lin, X.; Wei, S.; Wu, T. Association of public health interventions with the epidemiology of the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, China. JAMA, 2020, 323(19), 1915-1923.
[] [PMID: 32275295]
CP, N. The epidemiological characteristics of an outbreak of 2019 novel coronavirus diseases (COVID-19) in China. Zhonghua liu xing bing xue za zhi= Zhonghua liuxingbingxue zazhi, 2020, 41, 145.
Wang, X.; Wang, M.J.; Jiang, X.B.; Wang, H.J.; Zhao, H.Y. Letter: Strategies for prevention and control of 2019 novel coronavirus infection among medical staff. Neurosurgery, 2020, 87(1), E57-E62.
[] [PMID: 32277757]
Cohen, J. Vaccine designers take first shots at COVID-19. Science, 2020, 368(6486), 14-16.
Katerina, MA; Emmanouil, A; Interferon, D.B. Interferon and their application in the diseases of the lung. Chest, 2003, 123, 209-216.
[] [PMID: 12527624]
Mantlo, E.; Bukreyeva, N.; Maruyama, J.; Paessler, S.; Huang, C. Potent antiviral activities of type I interferons to SARS-CoV-2 infection. bioRxiv, 2020. (In press)
Kumaki, Y.; Ennis, J.; Rahbar, R.; Turner, J.D.; Wandersee, M.K.; Smith, A.J.; Bailey, K.W.; Vest, Z.G.; Madsen, J.R.; Li, J.K.K.; Barnard, D.L. Single-dose intranasal administration with mDEF201 (adenovirus vectored mouse interferon-alpha) confers protection from mortality in a lethal SARS-CoV BALB/c mouse model. Antiviral Res., 2011, 89(1), 75-82.
[] [PMID: 21093489]
National Health Commission of the People’s Republic of China. Diagnosis and treatment protocol for novel coronavirus pneumonia. Chin Med J (Engl)., 2020, 33(9), 1087-1095.
Rothan, H.A.; Byrareddy, S.N. The epidemiology and pathogenesis of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. J. Autoimmun., 2020, 109, 102433.
[] [PMID: 32113704]
Livingston, E.B.K. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Italy. JAMA, 2020, 323(14), 1335.
Grasselli, G.; Zangrillo, A.; Zanella, A.; Antonelli, M.; Cabrini, L.; Castelli, A.; Cereda, D.; Coluccello, A.; Foti, G.; Fumagalli, R.; Iotti, G.; Latronico, N.; Lorini, L.; Merler, S.; Natalini, G.; Piatti, A.; Ranieri, M.V.; Scandroglio, A.M.; Storti, E.; Cecconi, M.; Pesenti, A. Baseline characteristics and outcomes of 1591 patients infected With SARS-CoV-2 admitted to ICUs of the Lombardy Region, Italy. JAMA, 2020, 323(16), 1574-1581.
[] [PMID: 32250385]
Thompson, R. Pandemic potential of 2019-nCoV. Lancet Infect. Dis., 2020, 20(3), 280.
[] [PMID: 32043978]
Gao, L.; Yu, S.; Chen, Q.; Duan, Z.; Zhou, J.; Mao, C.; Yu, D.; Zhu, W.; Nie, J.; Hou, Y. A randomized controlled trial of low-dose recombinant human interferons α-2b nasal spray to prevent acute viral respiratory infections in military recruits. Vaccine, 2010, 28(28), 4445-4451.
[] [PMID: 20394720]
Yu, D.; Chen, Q.; Zhang, L.; Liu, Y.; Li, Z.; Hu, G.; Duan, Z.; Chu, X.; Zhang, B.; Hou, A field trial of recombinant human interferon alpha-2b for nasal spray to prevent SARS and other respiratory viral infections. Zhonghua Shi Yan He Lin Chuang Bing Du Xue Za Zhi, 2005, 19(3), 216-219.
Blanco-Melo, D.; Nilsson-Payant, B.E.; Liu, W.C.; Uhl, S.; Hoagland, D.; Møller, R.; Jordan, T.X.; Oishi, K.; Panis, M.; Sachs, D.; Wang, T.T.; Schwartz, R.E.; Lim, J.K.; Albrecht, R.A.; tenOever, B.R. Imbalanced host response to SARS-CoV-2 drives development of COVID-19. Cell, 2020, 181(5), 1036-1045.
[] [PMID: 32416070]
Ziegler, C.G.K.; Allon, S.J.; Nyquist, S.K.; Mbano, I.M.; Miao, V.N.; Tzouanas, C.N.; Cao, Y.; Yousif, A.S.; Bals, J.; Hauser, B.M.; Feldman, J.; Muus, C.; Wadsworth, M.H., II; Kazer, S.W.; Hughes, T.K.; Doran, B.; Gatter, G.J.; Vukovic, M.; Taliaferro, F.; Mead, B.E.; Guo, Z.; Wang, J.P.; Gras, D.; Plaisant, M.; Ansari, M.; Angelidis, I.; Adler, H.; Sucre, J.M.S.; Taylor, C.J.; Lin, B.; Waghray, A.; Mitsialis, V.; Dwyer, D.F.; Buchheit, K.M.; Boyce, J.A.; Barrett, N.A.; Laidlaw, T.M.; Carroll, S.L.; Colonna, L.; Tkachev, V.; Peterson, C.W.; Yu, A.; Zheng, H.B.; Gideon, H.P.; Winchell, C.G.; Lin, P.L.; Bingle, C.D.; Snapper, S.B.; Kropski, J.A.; Theis, F.J.; Schiller, H.B.; Zaragosi, L.E.; Barbry, P.; Leslie, A.; Kiem, H.P.; Flynn, J.L.; Fortune, S.M.; Berger, B.; Finberg, R.W.; Kean, L.S.; Garber, M.; Schmidt, A.G.; Lingwood, D.; Shalek, A.K.; Ordovas-Montanes, J.; Banovich, N.; Brazma, A.; Desai, T.; Duong, T.E.; Eickelberg, O.; Falk, C.; Farzan, M.; Glass, I.; Haniffa, M.; Horvath, P.; Hung, D.; Kaminski, N.; Krasnow, M.; Kuhnemund, M.; Lafyatis, R.; Lee, H.; Leroy, S.; Linnarson, S.; Lundeberg, J.; Meyer, K.; Misharin, A.; Nawijn, M.; Nikolic, M.Z.; Pe’er, D.; Powell, J.; Quake, S.; Rajagopal, J.; Tata, P.R.; Rawlins, E.L.; Regev, A.; Reyfman, P.A.; Rojas, M.; Rosen, O.; Saeb-Parsy, K.; Samakovlis, C.; Schiller, H.; Schultze, J.L.; Seibold, M.A.; Shepherd, D.; Spence, J.; Spira, A.; Sun, X.; Teichmann, S.; Theis, F.; Tsankov, A.; van den Berge, M.; von Papen, M.; Whitsett, J.; Xavier, R.; Xu, Y.; Zhang, K. SARS-CoV-2 receptor ACE2 is an interferon-stimulated gene in human airway epithelial cells and is detected in specific cell subsets across tissues. Cell, 2020, 181(5), 1016-1035.e19.
[] [PMID: 32413319]
Hung, I.F.N.; Lung, K.C.; Tso, E.Y.K.; Liu, R.; Chung, T.W.H.; Chu, M.Y.; Ng, Y.Y.; Lo, J.; Chan, J.; Tam, A.R.; Shum, H.P.; Chan, V.; Wu, A.K.L.; Sin, K.M.; Leung, W.S.; Law, W.L.; Lung, D.C.; Sin, S.; Yeung, P.; Yip, C.C.Y.; Zhang, R.R.; Fung, A.Y.F.; Yan, E.Y.W.; Leung, K.H.; Ip, J.D.; Chu, A.W.H.; Chan, W.M.; Ng, A.C.K.; Lee, R.; Fung, K.; Yeung, A.; Wu, T.C.; Chan, J.W.M.; Yan, W.W.; Chan, W.M.; Chan, J.F.W.; Lie, A.K.W.; Tsang, O.T.Y.; Cheng, V.C.C.; Que, T.L.; Lau, C.S.; Chan, K.H.; To, K.K.W.; Yuen, K.Y. Triple combination of interferon beta-1b, lopinavir-ritonavir, and ribavirin in the treatment of patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19: An open-label, randomised, phase 2 trial. Lancet, 2020, 395(10238), 1695-1704.
[] [PMID: 32401715]

Rights & Permissions Print Export Cite as
© 2022 Bentham Science Publishers | Privacy Policy