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Open AccessArticle

Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics Exhibit Low Antiviral Activity against SARS-CoV-2 and MERS-CoV

1
Biology of Vector-Borne Viruses Section, Laboratory of Virology, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Hamilton, MT 59840, USA
2
Department of Molecular Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN 55905, USA
3
Innate Immunity and Pathogenesis Section Laboratory of Virology, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Hamilton, MT 59840, USA
4
Coxiella Pathogenesis Section, Laboratory of Bacteriology, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Hamilton, MT 59840, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Graciela Andrei
Viruses 2021, 13(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13010008
Received: 2 December 2020 / Revised: 17 December 2020 / Accepted: 21 December 2020 / Published: 23 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug-Repositioning Opportunities for Antiviral Therapy)
Repurposing FDA-approved drugs that treat respiratory infections caused by coronaviruses, such as SARS-CoV-2 and MERS-CoV, could quickly provide much needed antiviral therapies. In the current study, the potency and cellular toxicity of four fluoroquinolones (enoxacin, ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, and moxifloxacin) were assessed in Vero cells and A549 cells engineered to overexpress ACE2, the SARS-CoV-2 entry receptor. All four fluoroquinolones suppressed SARS-CoV-2 replication at high micromolar concentrations in both cell types, with enoxacin demonstrating the lowest effective concentration 50 value (EC50) of 126.4 μM in Vero cells. Enoxacin also suppressed the replication of MERS-CoV-2 in Vero cells at high micromolar concentrations. Cellular toxicity of levofloxacin was not found in either cell type. In Vero cells, minimal toxicity was observed following treatment with ≥37.5 μM enoxacin and 600 μM ciprofloxacin. Toxicity in both cell types was detected after moxifloxacin treatment of ≥300 μM. In summary, these results suggest that the ability of fluoroquinolones to suppress SARS-CoV-2 and MERS-CoV replication in cultured cells is limited. View Full-Text
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; Covid-19; MERS; fluoroquinolones; antiviral; efficacy; ciprofloxacin; enoxacin; levofloxacin; moxifloxacin SARS-CoV-2; Covid-19; MERS; fluoroquinolones; antiviral; efficacy; ciprofloxacin; enoxacin; levofloxacin; moxifloxacin
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MDPI and ACS Style

Scroggs, S.L.P.; Offerdahl, D.K.; Flather, D.P.; Morris, C.N.; Kendall, B.L.; Broeckel, R.M.; Beare, P.A.; Bloom, M.E. Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics Exhibit Low Antiviral Activity against SARS-CoV-2 and MERS-CoV. Viruses 2021, 13, 8. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13010008

AMA Style

Scroggs SLP, Offerdahl DK, Flather DP, Morris CN, Kendall BL, Broeckel RM, Beare PA, Bloom ME. Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics Exhibit Low Antiviral Activity against SARS-CoV-2 and MERS-CoV. Viruses. 2021; 13(1):8. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13010008

Chicago/Turabian Style

Scroggs, Stacey L.P.; Offerdahl, Danielle K.; Flather, Dylan P.; Morris, Ciera N.; Kendall, Benjamin L.; Broeckel, Rebecca M.; Beare, Paul A.; Bloom, Marshall E. 2021. "Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics Exhibit Low Antiviral Activity against SARS-CoV-2 and MERS-CoV" Viruses 13, no. 1: 8. https://doi.org/10.3390/v13010008

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