Published time: 30 March 2020
Authors: Janice Block
Keywords: COVID-19, azithromycin, bee
The pharmacology of azithromycin, and the actions of certain bee products, suggest the possibility of overlap with the pathophysiology of COVID-19 at several points in the disease process. First, intercellular epithelial tight junctions of the respiratory tract serve as a critical barrier to invaders. Pathophysiological factors capable of disrupting this epithelial barrier include viral virulence factors such as those observed for other coronaviruses; virulence factors derived from potentially synergistic pathogens such as Candida albicans and Porphyramonas gingivalis; and imbalances in the host inflammatory response. Azithromycin, and to a lesser extent, certain bee products, appear to have actions that oppose such processes. Second, the matrikine PGP or its derivatives may contribute to risk in individuals at high risk for serious COVID-19 infection, especially during reactivation; but azithromycin is capable of modulating PGP in some contexts. Third, the most serious COVID-19 infections are associated with massive upregulation of inflammatory cytokines such as IL-6, TNF alpha, and other inflammatory cytokines. The anti inflammatory actions of azithromycin and bee derived products such as melittin are potentially capable of modulating these processes, as well. Azithromycin is already in current use as a treatment for COVID-19; however, it’s utility as a protector of epithelial barrier function would be most likely to be realized in prophylactic context rather than in a treatment context. Similarly, since the anti inflammatory effects of bee products take time, their effectiveness of melittin and other bee products would be expected to be maximized in a prophylactic context. In the context of the current pandemic, prophylaxis with azithromycin, bee products, or both, might be warranted for individuals at high risk for serious COVID-19 infection.
High Risk COVID-19 Potential Intervention at Multiple Points in the COVID-19 Disease Process Via Prophylactic Treatment with Azithromycin or Bee Derived Products