Preliminary report of in vitro and in vivo effectiveness of dornase alfa on SARS-CoV-2 infection

Okur H. K. , Yalcin K., Tastan C., Demir S., Yurtsever B., Karakus G. S. , ...More

NEW MICROBES AND NEW INFECTIONS, vol.37, 2020 (Journal Indexed in ESCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 37
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.nmni.2020.100756
  • Keywords: Coronavirus disease 2019, dornase alfa, NETosis, neutrophil extracellular traps, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, NEUTROPHIL EXTRACELLULAR TRAPS, RECOMBINANT HUMAN DNASE, INFLAMMATION, CORONAVIRUS, COVID-19


Dornase alfa, the recombinant form of the human DNase I enzyme, breaks down neutrophil extracellular traps (NET) that include a vast amount of DNA fragments, histones, microbicidal proteins and oxidant enzymes released from necrotic neutrophils in the highly viscous mucus of cystic fibrosis patients. Dornase alfa has been used for decades in patients with cystic fibrosis to reduce the viscoelasticity of respiratory tract secretions, to decrease the severity of respiratory tract infections, and to improve lung function. Previous studies have linked abnormal NET formations to lung diseases, especially to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). It is well known that novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pneumonia progresses to ARDS and even multiple organ failure. High blood neutrophil levels are an early indicator of COVID-19 and predict severe respiratory diseases. Also it is reported that mucus structure in COVID-19 is very similar to that in cystic fibrosis due to the accumulation of excessive NET in the lungs. In this study, we showed the recovery of three individuals with COVID-19 after including dornase alfa in their treatment. We followed clinical improvement in the radiological analysis (two of three cases), oxygen saturation (SpO(2)), respiratory rate, disappearance of dyspnoea, coughing and a decrease in NET formation and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) viral load after the treatment. Also here, we share our preliminary results suggesting that dornase alfa has an anti-viral effect against SARS-CoV-2 infection in a green monkey kidney cell line, Vero, and a bovine kidney cell line, MDBK, without determined cytotoxicity on healthy peripheral blood mononuclear cells. (C) 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.