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Acetylcysteine (NAC) alleviates infection by porcine epidemic diarrhea coronavirus

Updated: Feb 26, 2020

No veterinary/drug treatment or prevention is known for this Coronavirus infection, but nutritional supplementation with NAC/acetylcysteine or vitamin D have both shown the ability to resolve nearly every aspect of the disease.

N-Acetylcysteine (NAC) alleviates intestinal injury in piglets infected by porcine epidemic diarrhea coronavirus (Amino Acids 2017 Dec[1]): Porcine epidemic diarrhea coronavirus (PEDV, PEDcoV) infects the intestine of young pigs, resulting in diarrhea, weight loss, increased intestinal permeability, villus atrophy and inflammation; this condition has no effective medical/veterinary measures for prevention and treatment. Dietary NAC supplementation (50 mg/kg) prevented all consequences of infection, including increased oxidative stress, per decreases in plasma and mucosal H2O2 levels. The authors concluded, “Collectively, these novel results indicate that dietary supplementation with NAC alleviates intestinal mucosal damage and improves the absorptive function of the small intestine in PEDV-infected piglets.”

Perspective from DrV: NAC/acetylcysteine has a long history of use in human clinical medicine and has been shown repeatedly to provide major antiviral benefits whether used for prevention (e.g., prevention of influenza) or treatment (e.g., treatment of HIV-AIDS and influenza). Because of its ability to interfere with host viral replication pathways such as NFkB, NAC/acetylcysteine is expected to provide nonspecific and global antiviral benefits, as demonstrated in this research. The dose used herein at 50 mg/kg is comparable to dosages used in humans and which has already demonstrated enviable safety and remarkable efficacy.

  1. Wang et al. N-Acetylcysteine supplementation alleviates intestinal injury in piglets infected by porcine epidemic diarrhea virus. Amino Acids. 2017 Dec;49(12):1931-1943. doi: 10.1007/s00726-017-2397-2

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