In Vitro Inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 Infection by Bovine Lactoferrin
Carlos Alberto Marques de Carvalho1# *, Aline da Rocha Matos2# , Braulia Costa Caetano2# , Ivanildo Pedro de Sousa Junior2Abstract
Since its emergence in late 2019, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has been posing a serious threat to public health worldwide as the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID19). Now distributed in a pandemic pattern, this disease still lacks an effective drug treatment with low toxicity, leading pharmaceutical companies and research labs to work against time to find a candidate molecule to efficiently treat the affected patients. Due to the well-known broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity of the lactoferrin protein, we sought to verify whether its bovine form (bLf) would also be effective in vitro against SARS-CoV-2. Using an antiviral assay based on quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), we found that bLf reduced progeny virus yield by up to ~84,6% in African green monkey kidney epithelial cells (Vero E6) and ~68,6% in adenocarcinomic human alveolar basal epithelial cells (A549) at 1 mg/mL, a concentration previously shown to have low cytotoxicity. Therefore, our preliminary data suggest that bLf has the potential to constitute a biochemical approach to fight the new coronavirus pandemic.