Pleiotropic effect of Lactoferrin in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 infection: in vivo, in silico and in vitro preliminary evidences
The current treatments against SARS-CoV-2 have proved so far inadequate. A potent antiviral drug is yet to be discovered. Lactoferrin, a multifunctional glycoprotein, secreted by exocrine glands and neutrophils, possesses an antiviral activity extendable to SARS-Cov-2.
We performed a randomized, prospective, interventional study assessing the role of oral and intra-nasal lactoferrin to treat mild-to-moderate and asymptomatic COVID-19 patients to prevent disease evolution. Lactoferrin induced an early viral clearance and a fast clinical symptoms recovery in addition to a statistically significant reduction of D-Dimer, Interleukin-6 and ferritin blood levels. The antiviral activity of lactoferrin related to its binding to SARS-CoV-2 and cells and protein-protein docking methods, provided the direct recognition between lactoferrin and spike S, thus hindering the spike S attachment to the human ACE2 receptor and consequently virus entering into the cells.
Lactoferrin can be used as a safe and efficacious natural agent to prevent and treat COVID-19 infection.
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