Fact Check-2015 Nobel Prize for ivermectin intended for treatment of parasitic infections doesn’t prove its efficacy on COVID-19 | Reuters


Reuters Fact Check

September 10, 20214:11 AMUpdated a year ago

Fact Check-2015 Nobel Prize for ivermectin intended for treatment of parasitic infections doesn’t prove its efficacy on COVID-19

By Reuters Fact Check

Correction Sep. 23, 2021: paragraph one has been corrected to clarify that the drug Ivermectin was not awarded the Nobel Prize. Rather, the prize was awarded to two scientists for their discoveries involving the drug.

Social media users claim that the drug Ivermectin is safe to use as it received the Nobel Prize in 2015. While two scientists did win the prize for the medication, this was for parasitic infections and it does not mean the drug is a safe or effective drug in the treatment of COVID-19, a virus. As of this article’s publication, public health authorities in the United States are not recommending ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19. Scientific studies are ongoing.

The description in one post reads: “Ivermectin has been given to humans 3.7 billion times in the past 30 years. It’s totally safe and has been called a “miracle drug.” Its creators won a Nobel Prize in Medicine for inventing it, and the WHO puts it on a list of ‘must have drugs’ for any country.”

One half of the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to William C. Campbell and Satoshi Omura for “for their discoveries concerning a novel therapy against infections caused by roundworm parasites,” according to the Nobel Prize website here .

The website says that Campbell Omura discovered that the drug Avermectin, which was chemically modified to a better compound called Ivermectin, “radically lowered” cases of river blindness, lymphatic filariasis and other parasitic diseases in humans.

“Ivermectin was later tested in humans with parasitic infections and effectively killed parasite larvae (microfilaria),” the website said. “Collectively, Ōmura and Campbell’s contributions led to the discovery of a new class of drugs with extraordinary efficacy against parasitic diseases.”

However, the drug is not yet approved for use in humans for preventing or treating COVID-19 and data thus far does not show efficacy against the virus.


Missing context. Two scientists did receive a Nobel Prize for their discovery of Ivermectin, but it was intended to treat parasitic infections in humans, not COVID-19.



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2 Responses to Fact Check-2015 Nobel Prize for ivermectin intended for treatment of parasitic infections doesn’t prove its efficacy on COVID-19 | Reuters

  1. E Lye says:

    Ha ha ha. Utter misdirection. That’s like saying no engineering body has tested or approved the use of a 50-cent coin for opening a Milo tin lid. Did they mention that Viagra was originally formulated for another use? What about people found using car keys to open cardboard boxes instead of box cutters. Will Reuters please investigate that.

  2. E Lye says:


    It is a long article. Ivermectin is mentioned once and you can easily find it. It points to : https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.11.24.517882v1.full.pdf which says “Experimental findings for SARS-CoV-2 related to the glycan biochemistry of coronaviruses
    23 indicate that attachments from spike protein to glycoconjugates on the surfaces of red blood cells
    24 (RBCs), other blood cells and endothelial cells are key to the infectivity and morbidity of COVID25 19. To provide further insight into these glycan attachments and their potential clinical relevance,
    26 the classic hemagglutination (HA) assay was applied using spike protein from the Wuhan, Alpha,
    27 Delta and Omicron B.1.1.529 lineages of SARS-CoV-2 mixed with human RBCs. The
    28 electrostatic potential of the central region of spike protein from these four lineages was studied
    29 through molecular modeling simulations. Inhibition of spike protein-induced HA was tested using
    30 the macrocyclic lactone ivermectin (IVM), which is indicated to bind strongly to SARS-CoV-2
    31 spike protein glycan sites. The results of these experiments were, first, that spike protein from
    32 these four lineages of SARS-CoV-2 induced HA. Omicron induced HA at a significantly lower
    33 threshold concentration of spike protein than for the three prior lineages and was much more
    34 electropositive on its central spike protein region. IVM blocked HA when added to RBCs prior to
    35 spike protein and reversed HA when added afterwards. These results validate and extend prior
    36 findings on the role of glycan bindings of viral spike protein in COVID-19. They furthermore
    37 suggest therapeutic options using competitive glycan-binding agents such as IVM and may help
    38 elucidate rare serious adverse effects (AEs) associated with COVID-19 mRNA vaccines which
    39 use spike protein as the generated antigen.”

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