This appears to be very promising!
Hydroxychloroquine, Azithromycin combination effective against COVID-19
Gandhinagar, March 22 (IANS) The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has found the combination of Hydroxygloroquine and Azithromycin to be very effective against the dreaded coronavirus. According to the Gujarat government, the ministry will shortly be framing the protocols for the medicines to be authorised for the treatment of coronavirus in the country.
In summary, we identified antiviral properties of azithromycin on RV infection in primary bronchial epithelial cells obtained from CF patients. Our data suggest that the mechanism of action of azithromycin is mediated by a global amplification of the IFN pathway-mediated antiviral responses through the induction of PRRs, IFNs and ISGs leading to a reduction of RV replication.
Since there is a lack of treatment option for virus-induced pulmonary exacerbation in patients with CF, our study suggests that clinical studies are needed to further elucidate the potential role of azithromycin in the management and prevention of RV-induced exacerbations of CF lung disease, which could be of relevance especially to CF infants and children.
The Marseille Study
The European Union Clinical Trials Register shows that the Marseille study was accepted on 5th March by the National Medicines Safety Agency (ANSM). It could include up to 25 COVID-19 positive patients, comprising five aged 12–17 years, 10 aged 18–64 years, and 10 more aged 65 years or over.
While the data have not yet been published, and should therefore be interpreted with caution, this non-randomised, unblinded study showed a strong reduction in viral load with hydroxychloroquine.
After 6 days, the percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 who received hydroxychloroquine fell to 25% versus 90% for those who did not receive the treatment (a group of untreated COVID-19 patients from Nice and Avignon).
In addition, comparing untreated patients, those receiving hydroxychloroquine and those given hydroxychloroquine plus the antibiotic azithromycin, the results showed there was "a spectacular reduction in the number of positive cases" with the combination therapy, said Prof Raoult.
At 6 days, among patients given combination therapy, the percentage of cases still carrying SRAS-CoV-2 was no more than 5%.
While this sounds wonderful and very promising, we have to keep this in mind:
There is increasing concern that most current published research findings are false. The probability that a research claim is true may depend on study power and bias, the number of other studies on the same question, and, importantly, the ratio of true to no relationships among the relationships probed in each scientific field. In this framework, a research finding is less likely to be true when the studies conducted in a field are smaller; when effect sizes are smaller; when there is a greater number and lesser preselection of tested relationships; where there is greater flexibility in designs, definitions, outcomes, and analytical modes; when there is greater financial and other interest and prejudice; and when more teams are involved in a scientific field in chase of statistical significance. Simulations show that for most study designs and settings, it is more likely for a research claim to be false than true. Moreover, for many current scientific fields, claimed research findings may often be simply accurate measures of the prevailing bias.
On the subject of using antimalarial drugs for COVID-19 treatment, I've compared COVID-19 cases versus malaria incidence by country....
This is amazing. I downloaded all of the data for 234 countries, incidence of total COVID-19 cases (as of 3/17/2020) versus the incidence of malaria in those countries (various sources, kinda messy matching everything up in Excel).
RESULTS, Multi-country average malaria cases per thousand, COVID-19 cases per million, in three classes of countries based on malaria incidence:
Top 40 Malaria countries: 212 malaria = 0.2 COVID-19;
Next 40 Malaria countries: 7.3 malaria = 10.1 COVID-19
Remaining (81-234) countries: 0.00 malaria = 68.7 COVID-19
Again, the units are Malaria cases per thousand "population at risk", and COVID-19 cases per million total population.
In all my years of data analysis I have never seen such a stark and strong relationship: Countries with malaria basically have no COVID-19 cases (at least not yet).