Document Type


Publication Date



Lactoferrin, COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, Multifunctional protein

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


The world population is still facing the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Such a challenge requires complicated tools to control, namely vaccines, effective cures, and complementary agents. Here we present one candidate for the role of an effective cure and/or complementary agent: lactoferrin. It is the cross-talking mediator between many organs/cellular systems in the body. It serves as a physiological, immunological, and anti-microbial barrier, and acts as a regulator molecule. Furthermore, lactoferrin has receptors on most tissues cells, and is a rich source for bioactive peptides, particularly in the digestive system. In the past months, in vitro and in vivo evidence has accumulated regarding lactoferrin’s ability to control SARS-CoV-2 infectivity in different indicated scenarios. Also, lactoferrin or whey milk (of human or other mammal’s origin) is a cheap, easily available, and safe agent, the use of which can produce promising results. Pharmaceutical and/or food supplementary formulas of lactoferrin could be particularly effective in controlling the gastrointestinal COVID-19-associated symptoms and could limit the fecal-oral viral infection transmission, through mechanisms that mimic that of norovirus infection control by lactoferrin via induction of intestinal innate immunity. This natural avenue may be effective not only in symptomatic patients, but could also be more helpful in asymptomatic patients as a main or adjuvant treatment.

Rights Information

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Was this content written or created while at USF?


Citation / Publisher Attribution

PeerJ, v. 9, art. e11303