Detalle Publicación


Effectiveness of antiviral therapy in highly-transmissible variants of SARS-CoV-2: a modeling and simulation study

Autores: Schoning, V.; Kern, C.; Chaccour Diaz, Carlos Javier; Hammann, F. (Autor de correspondencia)
ISSN: 1663-9812
Volumen: 13
Páginas: 816429
Fecha de publicación: 2022
As of October 2021, neither established agents (e.g., hydroxychloroquine) nor experimental drugs have lived up to their initial promise as antiviral treatment against SARS-CoV-2 infection. While vaccines are being globally deployed, variants of concern (VOCs) are emerging with the potential for vaccine escape. VOCs are characterized by a higher within-host transmissibility, and this may alter their susceptibility to antiviral treatment. Here we describe a model to understand the effect of changes in within-host reproduction number R-0, as proxy for transmissibility, of VOCs on the effectiveness of antiviral therapy with molnupiravir through modeling and simulation. Molnupiravir (EIDD-2801 or MK 4482) is an orally bioavailable antiviral drug inhibiting viral replication through lethal mutagenesis, ultimately leading to viral extinction. We simulated 800 mg molnupiravir treatment every 12 h for 5 days, with treatment initiated at different time points before and after infection. Modeled viral mutations range from 1.25 to 2-fold greater transmissibility than wild type, but also include putative co-adapted variants with lower transmissibility (0.75-fold). Antiviral efficacy was correlated with R-0, making highly transmissible VOCs more sensitive to antiviral therapy. Total viral load was reduced by up to 70% in highly transmissible variants compared to 30% in wild type if treatment was started in the first 1-3 days post inoculation. Less transmissible variants appear less susceptible. Our findings suggest there may be a role for pre- or post-exposure prophylactic antiviral treatment in areas with presence of highly transmissible SARS-CoV-2 variants. Furthermore, clinical trials with borderline efficacious results should consider identifying VOCs and examine their impact in post-hoc analysis.