History and Physiology
Ivermectin has a great history as a medicine for parasites like worms, and it won a Nobel prize in 2015 for this virtue. Horse enthusiasts are familiar with Ivermectin, because they purchase it in farm supply stores and routinely administer it as an oral paste to their horses. Also, it is a commonly prescribed medicine for humans and is available in virtually all pharmacies. Ivermectin is very safe for humans and horses.
In recent years, beginning with random investigation of possible drugs to combat viruses, Ivermectin demonstrated profound evidence of its antiviral properties against many viruses.
Cell culture experiments show that ivermectin has robust antiviral action against a pool of viruses including HIV-1, dengue virus (DENV), Zika virus, West Nile virus, Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus, Chikungunya virus, Pseudorabies virus, adenovirus, and SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).
Ivermectin’s antiviral properties appear to be related to a special protein in human cells called Importin. There are two subunits of Importin: alpha and beta. They function to import certain substances into the nucleus of our cells. Many viruses including SARS-CoV2 take advantage of the Importin complex to get some of their key viral proteins into our cells’ nuclei. Ivermectin causes changes in the alpha subunit of Importin so that it does not combine with the beta subunit, and the intact pair can therefore not be used to import the viral proteins into the nucleus.
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