Background: Drug repurposing otherwise known as drug repositioning or drug re-profling is a time-tested approach in drug discovery through which new medical uses are being established for already known drugs. Antibi‑ otics are among the pharmacological agents being investigated for potential anti-SARS-COV-2 activities. The antibiot‑ ics are used either to resolve bacterial infections co-existing with COVID-19 infections or exploitation of their potential antiviral activities. Herein, we aimed to review the various antibiotics that have been repositioned for the manage‑ ment of COVID-19.
Methods: This literature review was conducted from a methodical search on PubMed and Web of Science regarding antibiotics used in patients with COVID-19 up to July 5, 2020.
Results: Macrolide and specifcally azithromycin is the most common antibiotic used in the clinical management of COVID-19. The other antibiotics used in COVID-19 includes teicoplanin, clarithromycin, doxycycline, tetracyclines, levo‑ foxacin, moxifoxacin, ciprofoxacin, and cefuroxime. In patients with COVID-19, antibiotics are used for their immunemodulating, anti-infammatory, and antiviral properties. The precise antiviral mechanism of most of these antibiotics has not been determined. Moreover, the use of some of these antibiotics against SARS-CoV-2 infection remains highly controversial and not widely accepted.
Conclusion: The heavy use of antibiotics during the COVID-19 pandemic would likely worsen antibiotic resistance crisis. Consequently, antibiotic stewardship should be strengthened in order to prevent the impacts of COVID-19 on the antibiotic resistance crisis
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Published in Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials, Volume 20, 2021.
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Yacouba, A., Olowo-okere, A., & Yunusa, I. (2021). Repurposing of antibiotics for clinical management of COVID-19: A narrative review. Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials, 20. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12941-021-00444-9