Due to the urgent need to stop the spread of the COVID-19 attempts to find the drug with anti SARS-CoV-2 effects among ones already available on a market are actively being made. A number of in vitro as well as in vivo model animal studies have shown that widely used compound hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is able to cause anti-viral effect on SARS-CoV-2. While there is no enough clinical data to support the use of HCQ, several countries including Russia have already approved HCQ as treatment and prophylactic option. In the current study we analyzed the dynamics of the SARS-CoV-2 RNA quantity change in nasopharynx swabs of infected patients in mild condition and compared that of patients receiving HCQ and receiving no antiviral pharmacological therapy. We found that most of the patients demonstrated gradual decrease in the number of SARS-CoV-2 RNA copies in the swab regardless of the HCQ receiving. Noteworthy that patients with RNA load higher than 106 copies were hospitalized due to condition deteriorating significantly more frequently compared to those with RNA load below 106 copies even with HCQ administration. In addition, the results of the current study indicate that recovering patients may produce viruses at least during 18 days from the onset of symptoms and HCQ therapy does not block or reduce it.
medrxiv Subject Collection: Infectious Diseases