Acetylsalicylic Acid and Salicylic Acid Inhibit SARS-CoV-2 Replication in Precision-Cut Lung Slices
Aspirin, with its active compound acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), shows antiviral activity against rhino- and influenza viruses at high concentrations. We sought to investigate whether ASA and its metabolite salicylic acid (SA) inhibit SARS-CoV-2 since it might use similar pathways to influenza viruses. The compound-treated cells were infected with SARS-CoV-2. Viral replication was analysed by RTqPCR. The compounds suppressed SARS-CoV-2 replication in cell culture cells and a patient-near replication system using human precision-cut lung slices by two orders of magnitude. While the compounds did not interfere with viral entry, it led to lower viral RNA expression after 24 h, indicating that post-entry pathways were inhibited by the compounds.