Philippe Gautret, Jean-Christophe Lagier, Philippe Parola, Van Thuan Hoang, Line Meddeb, Morgane Mailhe,, Barbara Doudier,, Johan Courjone, Valérie Giordanengoh, Vera Esteves Vieira, Hervé Tissot Dupont, Stéphane Honoréi, Philippe Colson, Eric Chabrière, Bernard La Scola, Jean-Marc Rolain, Philippe Brouqui, Didier Raoult. Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin as a treatment of COVID-19: results of an open-label non-randomized clinical trial
Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine have been found to be efficient on SARS-CoV-2, and
reported to be efficient in Chinese COV-19 patients. We evaluate the role of
hydroxychloroquine on respiratory viral loads.
Patients and methods
French Confirmed COVID-19 patients were included in a single arm protocol from early
March to March 16th, to receive 600mg of hydroxychloroquine daily and their viral load in
nasopharyngeal swabs was tested daily in a hospital setting. Depending on their clinical
presentation, azithromycin was added to the treatment. Untreated patients from another center
and cases refusing the protocol were included as negative controls. Presence and absence of
virus at Day6-post inclusion was considered the end point.
Six patients were asymptomatic, 22 had upper respiratory tract infection symptoms and eight
had lower respiratory tract infection symptoms.
Twenty cases were treated in this study and showed a significant reduction of the viral
carriage at D6-post inclusion compared to controls, and much lower average carrying duration
than reported of untreated patients in the literature. Azithromycin added to
hydroxychloroquine was significantly more efficient for virus elimination.
Despite its small sample size our survey shows that hydroxychloroquine treatment is
significantly associated with viral load reduction/disappearance in COVID-19 patients and its
effect is reinforced by azithromycin.