Clinical application of interferon gamma in comprehensive therapy of patients with coronavirus infection

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Background. The problem of effective therapy of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) at the hospital stage requires urgent resolution. Studies on the role of interferons in the immune response finding showed that interferon gamma is a potent endogenous regulatory cytokine that activates an antiviral immune response while simultaneously exerting its intrinsic antiviral activity, which promises new horizons for effective therapeutic care of patients with COVID-19.

The present study aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of complex therapy using interferon gamma 500,000 IU when administered subcutaneously to patients with viral pneumonia.

Material and methods. This prospective, open-labeled, randomized-controlled, single-center, investigator-initiated study included patients aged >18 years with mild COVID-19. The study agent interferon gamma was prescribed for therapeutic purposes at a dose of 500,000 IU subcutaneously once daily for 5 days.

Results. A superior efficacy of therapy with the study agent was noted. A statistically significant difference was observed with reference to the World Health Organization scale for Clinical Improvement when assessed 14 days after the therapy (p=0.024), with a higher patient survival rate (p=0.039). A comparative analysis of the changes showed a statistically significant difference between the groups with respect to the change in the levels of laboratory parameters of lactate dehydrogenase and C-reactive protein, which reflected the degree of damage and inflammation of the lung tissues.

Discussion. Past studies demonstrated the therapeutic efficacy of interferon gamma for coronavirus infection and community-acquired pneumonia. The present clinical experience confirms the past data on the positive effect of interferon gamma on the rate of clinical stabilization and recovery of patients.

Conclusion. Interferon gamma can be recommended for medical use in the complex therapy of patients with moderate COVID-19.

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About the authors

Aleksandr L. Myasnikov

M.E. Zhadkevich State Clinical Hospital, Moscow Department of Healthcare

ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2347-8317


Russian Federation, 121374, Moscow

Svetlana A. Berns

M.E. Zhadkevich State Clinical Hospital, Moscow Department of Healthcare

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1002-1895

MD, PhD, DSс, Professor

Russian Federation, 121374, Moscow

Feliks I. Ershov

N.F. Gamaleya Federal Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology

ORCID iD: 0000-0002-4780-7560

MD, PhD, DSc, Professor, academician of RAMS

Russian Federation, 123098, Moscow


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