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Open AccessEditorial

Global Spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 and Malaria: An Epidemiological Paradox in the Early Stage of A Pandemic

by Pietro Emanuele Napoli 1,*,† and Matteo Nioi 2,*,†
1
Department of Surgical Science, Eye Clinic, University of Cagliari, 09124 Cagliari, Italy
2
Department of Clinical Sciences and Public Health, Forensic Medicine Unit, University of Cagliari, 09124 Cagliari, Italy
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9(4), 1138; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm9041138
Received: 2 April 2020 / Accepted: 10 April 2020 / Published: 16 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Epidemiology & Public Health)
In the current work, we discovered and analyzed the epidemiological paradox between coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and malaria in the initial phase of the ongoing pandemic. From the analysis of distribution data, the endemic presence of malaria seems to protect some populations from COVID-19 outbreak, particularly in the least developed countries. In this sense, molecular and genetic variations associated with malaria (e.g., in ACE2) might play a protective role against coronavirus infection. Moreover, the mechanism of action of some antimalarial drugs, e.g., the antiviral function, suggests their potential role in the chemoprophylaxis of coronavirus epidemics, despite possible adverse effects (e.g., retinal toxicity). All these data provide important insights to understand the spreading mechanisms of COVID-19, and to direct scientific research toward the study of some currently available medications. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; coronavirus disease; malaria; antimalarials; ACE-2 receptor; epidemiological paradox COVID-19; coronavirus disease; malaria; antimalarials; ACE-2 receptor; epidemiological paradox
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Napoli, P.E.; Nioi, M. Global Spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 and Malaria: An Epidemiological Paradox in the Early Stage of A Pandemic. J. Clin. Med. 2020, 9, 1138.

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