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Antiviral Effect of Budesonide against SARS-CoV-2

Department of Molecular and Medical Virology, Ruhr-University Bochum, 44801 Bochum, Germany
European Virus Bioinformatics Center (EVBC), 07743 Jena, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Albrecht von Brunn
Viruses 2021, 13(7), 1411;
Received: 19 May 2021 / Revised: 13 July 2021 / Accepted: 15 July 2021 / Published: 20 July 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Broad-Spectrum Antivirals of Coronaviruses Replication)
Treatment options for COVID-19, a disease caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, are currently severely limited. Therefore, antiviral drugs that efficiently reduce SARS-CoV-2 replication or alleviate COVID-19 symptoms are urgently needed. Inhaled glucocorticoids are currently being discussed in the context of treatment for COVID-19, partly based on a previous study that reported reduced recovery times in cases of mild COVID-19 after inhalative administration of the glucocorticoid budesonide. Given various reports that describe the potential antiviral activity of glucocorticoids against respiratory viruses, we aimed to analyze a potential antiviral activity of budesonide against SARS-CoV-2 and circulating variants of concern (VOC) B.1.1.7 (alpha) and B.1.351 (beta). We demonstrate a dose-dependent inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 that was comparable between all viral variants tested while cell viability remains unaffected. Our results are encouraging as they could indicate a multimodal mode of action of budesonide against SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, which could contribute to an improved clinical performance. View Full-Text
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; antivirals; budesonide; variants of concern; corticosteroids SARS-CoV-2; antivirals; budesonide; variants of concern; corticosteroids
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MDPI and ACS Style

Heinen, N.; Meister, T.L.; Klöhn, M.; Steinmann, E.; Todt, D.; Pfaender, S. Antiviral Effect of Budesonide against SARS-CoV-2. Viruses 2021, 13, 1411.

AMA Style

Heinen N, Meister TL, Klöhn M, Steinmann E, Todt D, Pfaender S. Antiviral Effect of Budesonide against SARS-CoV-2. Viruses. 2021; 13(7):1411.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Heinen, Natalie, Toni L. Meister, Mara Klöhn, Eike Steinmann, Daniel Todt, and Stephanie Pfaender. 2021. "Antiviral Effect of Budesonide against SARS-CoV-2" Viruses 13, no. 7: 1411.

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