Lactoferrin as a Possible Preventive and Therapeutic Agent Against SARS-CoV-2 Infection
Michiyo Kobayashi-Sakamoto*1,, Toyonobu Maeda*2, Junko Yusa*3, Hideki Tani*4, Yasumasa Kato*2, and Kimiharu Hirose*1
*1Department of Preventive Dentistry, School of Dentistry, Ohu University
31-1 Misumido, Tomitamachi, Koriyama, Fukushima 963-8611, Japan
*2Department of Oral Function and Molecular Biology, School of Dentistry, Ohu University, Koriyama, Japan
*3Department of Oral Medical Sciences, School of Dentistry, Ohu University, Koriyama, Japan
*4Department of Virology, Toyama Institute of Health, Imizu, Japan
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a major cause of atypical pneumonia worldwide. Elderly individuals and those with underlying illnesses, such as cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases, are at a high risk of experiencing severe symptoms and have high mortality rates. There is therefore a major need to develop additional vaccines, effective treatments, and complementary drugs to control this infection. Lactoferrin (LF), a naturally-occurring glycoprotein, is bioactive against viruses and other pathogens. LF has a unique immunomodulatory function and is indispensable for immunity in infants. It is thought to contribute to biological defense in individuals across all generations, not only infants. LF inhibits viral adhesion to host cell surfaces through ionic binding to glycosaminoglycans and/or specific binding to viral structures. Purified LF is cost-effective and orally available as a dietary supplement. Here, we review studies on the protective role of LF against common viral infections. Based on this review, we propose that LF can be a possible prophylactic or therapeutic agent for COVID-19 disease.
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