COVID-19 cases are less prevalent in countries where malaria is endemic, suggesting a role for anti-malarial drugs as prophylaxis
Almost every country across the world has felt the repercussions of the pandemic of disease termed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the novel coronavirus identified as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). A recently published article points to a method of prevention and prophylaxis of COVID-19 through the use of anti-malarial drugs such as the 4-aminoquinolones: chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, based on their mechanisms of action against SARS-CoV-2. This report aims to explore the correlation between COVID-19 cases and countries where malaria is prevalent using statistical means. It is hypothesized that countries where malaria is endemic will have few cases of COVID-19 since these countries use the 4-aminoquinolone anti-malarial drugs for prophylaxis.
Statistical analysis demonstrates that the numbers and incidence of COVID-19 cases and COVID-19 related deaths are substantially lower (multiple-fold lower) in countries with the highest prevalence of malaria. The difference between both the COVID-19 incidence rate and the COVID-19 mortality rate in malaria prevalent countries compared to COVID-19 prevalent countries is statistically significant (p = 0.02 and p = 0.04 respectively).This study provides further evidence that anti-malaria drugs may prove essential to breaking the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and preventing COVID-19 and COVID-19 related mortality. As the pandemic continues to evolve and doctors and researchers across the globe try to attenuate or stop the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the medical community should not overlook the potential role of the 4-aminoquinolones anti-malarial drugs, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, and 8-aminoquinolone anti-malaria drugs, tafenoquine and primaquine, as a prophylaxis.
Full Text:PDF - EyeReports 2020 v6 pS11-16
Coronavirus 2019‐nCoV, CSSE. Coronavirus 2019‐nCoV Global Cases by Johns Hopkins CSSE. (Available from: https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com /apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6)
Holshue ML, DeBolt C, Lindquist S, et al. First case of 2019 novel coronavirus in the United States. New England Journal of Medicine 2020; 382(10), 929-36.
Guo YR., Cao QD, Hong ZS, et al. The origin, transmission and clinical therapies on coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak - an update on the status. Military Medical Research 2020; 7(1): 11-20.
Alshaban, F. A recommendation for the use of chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, primaquine, or tafenoquine for prophylaxis against the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) with note to the ophthalmic considerations. Eye Reports 2020; 6(1): S7-10.
Fernando SD, Rodrigo C, Rajapakse S. Chemoprophylaxis in malaria: Drugs, evidence of efficacy and costs. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine 2011; 4(4): 330-6.
Malaria Information and Prophylaxis, by Country [M]. (2019, March 27). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/malaria/travelers/
This year’s world malaria report at a glance. (2018, November 19). World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/malaria/media/world-malaria-report-2018/en/
Countries in the world by population (2020). (n.d.). Worldometer. Retrieved March 16, 2020, from https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/population-by-country/
Demographics of Countries. (n.d.). Worldometer. Retrieved March 16, 2020, from https://www.worldometers.info/demographics/
Bialek S, Boundy E, Bowen V, et al. Severe outcomes among patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) - United States, February 12-March 16, 2020. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report MMWR 2020; 69(12), 343-6. https://doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6912e2
Velavan TP, Meyer CG. The COVID‐19 epidemic. Tropical Medicine and International Health 2020; 25(3): 278-80.
- There are currently no refbacks.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Eye Reports [eISSN 2039-4756] is a new Open Access, online-only, peer-reviewed journal.