Ambulatory COVID-19 Patients Treated with Lactoferrin as a Supplementary Antiviral Agent: A Preliminary Study
Rosa et al.
, Ambulatory COVID-19 Patients Treated with Lactoferrin as a Supplementary Antiviral Agent: A Preliminary Study
, Journal of Clinical Medicine, doi:10.3390/jcm10184276
Retrospective survey based study in Italy with 82 patients treated with lactoferrin, and 39 control patients, showing significantly faster viral clearance with treatment. There was no significant difference in recovery time overall, however the treatment group had significantly more moderate condition patients (39% versus 8%), and improved recovery was seen with treatment as age increased. Median dose for asymptomatic patients was 400mg/day, for paucisymptomatic patients 600mg/day, and for moderate condition patients 1000mg three times a day.
risk of hospitalization, 75.6% lower, RR 0.24, p = 0.32, treatment 0 of 82 (0.0%), control 1 of 39 (2.6%), NNT 39, relative risk is not 0 because of continuity correction due to zero events (with reciprocal of the contrasting arm).
recovery time, 40.0% higher, relative time 1.40, p = 0.50, treatment 82, control 39, excluded in exclusion analyses:
excessive unadjusted differences between groups.
time to viral-, 39.4% lower, relative time 0.61, p = 0.02, treatment 82, control 39, inverted to make RR<1 favor treatment, Cox regression, primary outcome.
Effect extraction follows pre-specified rules prioritizing more serious outcomes. Submit updates
Rosa et al., 21 Sep 2021, retrospective, Italy, peer-reviewed, 8 authors, study period October 2020 - March 2021.
Abstract: Journal of
Ambulatory COVID-19 Patients Treated with Lactoferrin as a
Supplementary Antiviral Agent: A Preliminary Study
Luigi Rosa 1, * , Giovanni Tripepi 2 , Enrico Naldi 3 , Marina Aimati 4 , Stefano Santangeli 5 , Francesco Venditto 6 ,
Marcello Caldarelli 7 and Piera Valenti 1
Department of Public Health and Infectious Diseases, University of Rome “La Sapienza”, 00185 Rome, Italy;
National Research Council (CNR), Institute of Clinical Physiology (IFC), Clinical Epidemiology of Renal
Diseases and Hypertension, Ospedali Riuniti, 89124 Reggio Calabria, Italy; email@example.com
General Practitioner, 50136 Florence, Italy; firstname.lastname@example.org
General Practitioner, 04011 Aprilia, Italy; email@example.com
General Practitioner, Barberino del Mugello, 50031 Florence, Italy; firstname.lastname@example.org
General Practitioner, 50124 Florence, Italy; email@example.com
General Practitioner, 00178 Rome, Italy; firstname.lastname@example.org
Correspondence: email@example.com; Tel.: +39-06-4991-4543
Abstract: SARS-CoV-2, an enveloped, single-stranded RNA virus causing COVID-19, exerts morbidity and mortality especially in elderly, obese individuals and those suffering from chronic conditions.
In addition to the availability of vaccines and the limited efficacy of the first dose of vaccine against
SARS-CoV-2 variants, there is an urgent requirement for the discovery and development of supplementary antiviral agents. Lactoferrin (Lf), a pleiotropic cationic glycoprotein of innate immunity, has
been proposed as a safe treatment combined with other therapies in COVID-19 patients. Here, we
present a small retrospective study on asymptomatic, paucisymptomatic, and moderate symptomatic
COVID-19 Lf-treated versus Lf-untreated patients. The time required to achieve SARS-CoV-2 RNA
negativization in Lf-treated patients (n = 82) was significantly lower (p < 0.001) compared to that
observed in Lf-untreated ones (n = 39) (15 versus 24 days). A link among reduction in symptoms,
age, and Lf treatment was found. The Lf antiviral activity could be explained through the interaction with SARS-CoV-2 spike, the binding with heparan sulfate proteoglycans of cells, and the
anti-inflammatory activity associated with the restoration of iron homeostasis disorders, which favor
viral infection/replication. Lf could be an important supplementary treatment in counteracting
SARS-CoV-2 infection, as it is also safe and well-tolerated by all treated patients.
Received: 27 July 2021
Keywords: lactoferrin; COVID-19 patients; SARS-CoV-2
Citation: Rosa, L.; Tripepi, G.; Naldi,
E.; Aimati, M.; Santangeli, S.;
Venditto, F.; Caldarelli, M.; Valenti, P.
Ambulatory COVID-19 Patients
Treated with Lactoferrin as a
Supplementary Antiviral Agent: A
Preliminary Study. J. Clin. Med. 2021,
10, 4276. https://doi.org/10.3390/
Academic Editor: Miguel
Accepted: 17 September 2021
Published: 21 September 2021
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