Savarino A, Boelaert JR, Cassone A, Majori G, Cauda R. Effects of chloroquine on viral infections: an old drug against today’s diseases?. Lancet Infect Dis. 2003;3(11):722‐727. doi:10.1016/s1473-3099(03)00806-5
Chloroquine is a 9-aminoquinoline known since 1934. Apart from its well-known antimalarial effects, the drug has interesting biochemical properties that might be applied against some viral infections. Chloroquine exerts direct antiviral effects, inhibiting pH-dependent steps of the replication of several viruses including members of the flaviviruses, retroviruses, and coronaviruses. Its best-studied effects are those against HIV replication, which are being tested in clinical trials. Moreover, chloroquine has immunomodulatory effects, suppressing the production/release of tumour necrosis factor alpha and interleukin 6, which mediate the inflammatory complications of several viral diseases. We review the available information on the effects of chloroquine on viral infections, raising the question of whether this old drug may experience a revival in the clinical management of viral diseases such as AIDS and severe acute respiratory syndrome, which afflict mankind in the era of globalisation.
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