Genetic Considerations For Treatment of COVID-19 with Chloroquine

Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are oral prescription drugs that have been used for treatment of malaria and certain inflammatory conditions. Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are under investigation in clinical trials for pre-exposure or post-exposure prophylaxis of SARS-CoV-2 infection, and treatment of patients with mild, moderate, and severe COVID-19. FDA issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to authorize use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine from the Strategic National Stockpile for treatment of hospitalized adults and adolescents with COVID-19 for whom a clinical trial is not available or participation is not feasible.

Chloroquine may cause hemolytic anemia in glucose-6 phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) deficiency. This happens when red blood cells are destroyed faster than the body can replace them. Blood monitoring may be needed as hemolytic anemia may occur, in particular in association with other drugs that cause hemolysis.

G6PD deficiency is a genetic disorder that is most common in males. About 1 in 10 African American males in the United States has it. G6PD deficiency mainly affects red blood cells, which carry oxygen from the lungs to tissues throughout the body. The G6PD gene is located on the X chromosome. In males one altered copy of the gene in each cell is sufficient to cause the condition. In females a mutation would have to occur in both copies of the gene to cause the disorder (except in the rare case of X-chromosome inactivation)

Related to:
Corona virus, G6PD, Hydroxychloroquine, primaquine, tafenoquine, Aralan