Virology Blog: Evidence that hydroxychloroquine may reduce viral load of Covid


Senior Member

Chloroquine (and a derivative, hydroxychloroquine) has been used for years in the treatment of malaria. The drug is also known to block the entry of many viruses into cells. A small clinical trial has revealed it to be effective in reducing viral loads in COVID-19 patients.

Entry of enveloped viruses into cells requires fusion of viral and cell membranes to allow release of the viral genome into the cytoplasm. In many cases, after virus particles bind to cell surface receptors, they are taken into cells via the endocytic pathway. As these vesicles move toward the nucleus, their pH drops, which catalyzes fusion of viral and cell membranes. When cells are treated with chloroquine the pH of the endosome is elevated, which prevents fusion and blocks viral infection. The reproduction of many viruses is known to be inhibited by chloroquine.

Reproduction of SARS-CoV-1 in cell culture was shown to be blocked by chloroquine in 2005, by which time there were no human infections. Recently reproduction of the newly emerged SARS-CoV-2 in cells was found to be inhibited by chloroquine.
I am a big fan of his work but I think that he may not have done his due diligence in recommending this drug.
Today Bloomberg carried an article that points out China has since backtracked on its recommendation of Chloroquine and noted that it has severe side effects.
We should all be wary of drugs touted as some quick fix for this virus.
Our culture is dominated by the big pharma approach to treating viruses when there are SAFE and cheap treatments such as vitamin D and vitamin C which has been successfully used to treat coronavirus patients in China.

Here is the second half of the Bloomberg article:

"China’s recommendation to use chloroquine in treatment was quickly followed by a warning.

"Two days after the treatment guideline update, health authorities in Hubei province -- China’s worst-hit region where the outbreak started and which accounted for majority of its over 80,000 patients -- asked hospitals to closely watch for, and immediately report, any adverse side effects of chloroquine phosphate, according to a report in local media outlet The Paper.

"The drug is known to have short-term side effects such as nausea, diarrhea and tinnitus while long-term use can irreversibly impair eyesight. It’s forbidden for pregnant women as it can cause congenital defects in babies.

"China Health Commission revised the dosage in a Feb. 29 notice tightening chloroquine use. The drug cannot be given to pregnant women, those with heart disease, terminal liver and renal disease, retina and hearing loss and patients on antibiotics such as azithromycin and steroid.

"It can now be given only to patients between 18 to 65 years of age for a seven-day treatment course. Patients weighing over 50 kilograms (110 pounds) can take 500mg twice a day -- the usual dose -- while those weighing less will be administered the drug just once a day after two days of use, according to the latest guidelines.

"A woman in Wuhan proved how lethal chloroquine can be when it’s taken beyond the recommended dose. On Feb. 25, Shanghai-based The Paper reported that she took 1.8 grams of the drug she ordered online after suspecting she had the coronavirus. She did not, but the drug caused her to develop malignant cardiac arrhythmic, which can cause sudden death, and she was admitted to the intensive care unit.''


Senior Member
Ashland, Oregon
LA doctor seeing success with hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19

I think the article makes a strong case for zinc supplemention, even if a person is not treated with hydroxychloroquine.


Dr. Anthony Cardillo said he has seen very promising results when prescribing hydroxychloroquine in combination with zinc for the most severely-ill COVID-19 patients.​
"Every patient I've prescribed it to has been very, very ill and within 8 to 12 hours, they were basically symptom-free," Cardillo told Eyewitness News. "So clinically I am seeing a resolution."...​
He said he has found it only works if combined with zinc. The drug, he said, opens a channel for the zinc to enter the cell and block virus replication.