Ullah etal_ISCIENCE-D-23-05286: Bioluminescence Imaging Reveals Enhanced SARS-CoV-2 Clearance in Mice with Combinatorial Regimens

Published: 29 November 2023| Version 2 | DOI: 10.17632/n9ztbbbstm.2
Pradeep Uchil,


Direct acting antivirals (DAAs) represent critical tools for combating SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) that have escaped vaccine-elicited spike-based immunity and future coronaviruses with pandemic potential. Here, we used bioluminescence imaging to evaluate therapeutic efficacy of DAAs that target SARS-CoV-2 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (favipiravir, molnupiravir) or Main protease (nirmatrelvir) against Delta or Omicron VOCs in K18-hACE2 mice. Nirmatrelvir displayed the best efficacy followed by molnupiravir and favipiravir in suppressing viral loads in the lung. Unlike neutralizing antibody treatment, DAA monotherapy regimens did not eradicate SARS-CoV-2 in mice but combining molnupiravir with nirmatrelvir exhibited superior additive efficacy and led to virus clearance. Furthermore, combining molnupiravir with Caspase-1/4 inhibitor mitigated inflammation and lung pathology whereas combining molnupiravir with COVID-19 convalescent plasma demonstrated synergy, rapid virus clearance and 100% survival. Thus, our study provides insights into in vivo treatment efficacies of DAAs and other effective combinations to bolster COVID-19 therapeutic arsenal. The excel files are arranged figure wise and contain the raw data used to generate figures shown in the manuscript "Ullah etal_ISCIENCE-D-23-05286"


Steps to reproduce

Please see the Key resource table for reagent list and Method details in the manuscript Ullah etal_ISCIENCE-D-23-05286. The Excel file details the steps used to calculate Bliss index scores for combinatorial regimens.


Yale University, Hema-Quebec, Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative, Universite de Montreal


Inflammation, Mouse, Antiviral Drug, Neutralizing Antibody, Bioluminescence, Drug Combination, Synergism, Additive Interaction, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2, COVID-19


Canadian Institutes of Health Research


National Institutes of Health


Wellcome Trust