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Title: Lactoferrin as potential preventative and treatment for COVID-19
  • Raymond Chang,
  • Wei-zen Sun,
  • Tzi Bun Ng
Raymond Chang
Institute of East West Medicine, PREreview
Author Profile
Wei-zen Sun
Institute of East West Medicine, National Taiwan University
Tzi Bun Ng
Chinese University of Hong Kong


The novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is rapidly advancing across the globe despite drastic public and personal health measures. Antivirals and nutritional supplements have been proposed as potentially useful against SARS-CoV-2 (virus that causes COVID-19), but few have been clinically established. Lactoferrin (Lf) is a naturally occurring and non-toxic glycoprotein that is orally available as a nutritional supplement and has established in vitro anti-viral efficacy against a wide range of virus including SARS-CoV, a closely related corona virus to SARS-CoV-2 (virus that causes COVID-19). Furthermore, Lf possesses unique immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory effects that may be especially relevant to the pathophysiology of severe COVID-19 cases. We review the underlying biological mechanisms of Lf as antiviral and immune regulator, and propose its unique potential as a preventative and adjunct treatment for COVID-19. We hope that further research and development of Lf nutritional supplementation would establish its role for COVID-19.

Peer review timeline

07 Apr 2020Submitted to Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: COVID-19