Quinine prophylaxis induced hepatotoxic and hepatocellular effects in animal model: targeting misuse against SARS-COV-2 in COVID-19 era
Background: Quinine prophylaxis against SARS-CoV-2 is on the rise particularly in the face of COVID-19.
Aim: this study examines hepatic tissues and enzymes following quinine prophylaxis in animal models representing quinine abuse in COVID-19 era.
Materials and Methods: Twenty male Albino wistar rats (180-200g) were randomly picked into four groups (n=5). Rats were maintained in a clean and aerated environment and fed with standard pellets and water provided ad libitum. Group I served as control. While group II, III and IV were treated with quinine at concentrations of 10, 20, and 30mg/kg b.w respectively on the left thigh using 5mL syringe. Rats were treated for 28 days at two days intervals and sacrificed by cervical dislocation. Blood was collected for the assessment of the liver function from the cardiac region while liver samples were excised, grossed and fixed in 10% formalin for histology. Serum alanine aminotransferease (ALT), aspartate aminotransferease (AST), alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and total bilirubin were determined.
Results: Serum activities of AST, ALT, and total bilirubin in group II to IV were elevated against the untreated group 1 (p<0.05). While, ALP in group II to IV reduced tremendously compared with the control (p<0.05), which is strongly suggestive of hepatotoxicity. Histopathology showed hepatocellular degeneration, vacoulation, periportal inflammation and necrosis.
Conclusion: Quinine prophylaxis in animal model induced hepatotoxic effects leading to increased hepatic enzymes particularly (AST, ALT), and bilirubin with hepatocellular damages in this study. Therefore, quinine prophylaxis against SARS-CoV-2 should be discontinued except COVID-19 has been diagnosed while hepatic enzymes of patients should be monitored along treatment.
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