Efficacy of Interferon Gamma in the Prevention of SARS-CoV-2 Infection (COVID-19): Results of a Prospective Controlled Trial

Alexander L. Myasnikov, Svetlana A. Berns, Konstantin V. Zverev, Olga A. Lartseva, Pavel A. Talyzin

International Journal of Biomedicine. 2020;10(3):182-188.
DOI: 10.21103/Article10(3)_OA1
Originally published September 10, 2020


Background: To date, there is no evidence supporting the effectiveness of the use of any drugs for the prevention of COVID-19. However, we have a number of promising drugs at our disposal, which may be potential candidates in COVID-19 prevention. The main aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of COVID-19 among healthy volunteers using nasal INF-γ as a preventive measure.

Methods and Results: In this observational prospective study, we used INF-γ in a dosage form for intranasal administration to identify a prophylactic effect in volunteers at high risk of getting COVID-19 - medical workers and personnel working in the “red zone.” Prophylactic efficacy was evaluated by the incidence of COVID-19 among volunteers when using the study drug (the study group) in comparison with the control group. The mean score on the WHO clinical improvement scale in the two groups was also analyzed. For each participant in the study, initial demographic and epidemiological data were collected: age, gender, the average frequency of ARVI (per year), as well as information on professional activities (work schedule and the number of patients with whom the participant contacts every day). Findings showed that most participants previously had about 45%-48% cases of ARD per year. As a result, we saw good tolerance to COVID-19: 98% and 86% of subjects of both groups did not get sick during the period of observation, although the first group showed statistically significant (P=0.0019) better results in disease prevalence. In addition, the comparative analysis demonstrated 0.02 and 0.14 scores of the WHO clinical improvement scale in the study group and control group, respectively (P=0.0255). None of the subjects had adverse events.

Conclusion: This study concluded that there is a potential positive preventive effect of nasal INF-γ against ARVI including COVID-19 in healthy volunteers. INF-γ use was safe and well tolerated.

interferon gamma • SARS-CoV-2 • COVID-19 • intranasal administration • prevention
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Received July 28, 2020.
Accepted September 5, 2020.
©2020 International Medical Research and Development Corporation.