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Protective Effects of Lactoferrin against SARS-CoV-2 Infection In Vitro

Salaris et al., Nutrients, doi:10.3390/nu13020328
Jan 2021  
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Caco-2 and Vero E6 In Vitro study showing lactoferrin enhances the antiviral immune response, partially inhibits SARS-CoV-2 infection in Caco-2 intestinal epithelial cells, and modulates cytokine production.
Salaris et al., 23 Jan 2021, peer-reviewed, 9 authors. Contact: (corresponding author),,,,,,,,
In Vitro studies are an important part of preclinical research, however results may be very different in vivo.
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Protective Effects of Lactoferrin against SARS-CoV-2 Infection In Vitro
Claudio Salaris, Melania Scarpa, Marina Elli, Alice Bertolini, Simone Guglielmetti, Fabrizio Pregliasco, Corrado Blandizzi, Paola Brun, Ignazio Castagliuolo
Nutrients, doi:10.3390/nu13020328
SARS-CoV-2 is a newly emerging virus that currently lacks curative treatments. Lactoferrin (LF) is a naturally occurring non-toxic glycoprotein with broad-spectrum antiviral, immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effects. In this study, we assessed the potential of LF in the prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro. Antiviral immune response gene expression was analyzed by qRT-PCR in uninfected Caco-2 intestinal epithelial cells treated with LF. An infection assay for SARS-CoV-2 was performed in Caco-2 cells treated or not with LF. SARS-CoV-2 titer was determined by qRT-PCR, plaque assay and immunostaining. Inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokine production was determined by qRT-PCR. LF significantly induced the expression of IFNA1, IFNB1, TLR3, TLR7, IRF3, IRF7 and MAVS genes. Furthermore, LF partially inhibited SARS-CoV-2 infection and replication in Caco-2 intestinal epithelial cells. Our in vitro data support LF as an immune modulator of the antiviral immune response with moderate effects against SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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