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A Viral Polymerase Inhibitor Reduces Zika Virus Replication in the Reproductive Organs of Male Mice

KU Leuven Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Rega Institute for Medical Research, Laboratory of Virology and Chemotherapy, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
Laboratory of Pathology, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors have equally contributed to this work.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(9), 2122;
Received: 5 March 2019 / Revised: 19 April 2019 / Accepted: 24 April 2019 / Published: 29 April 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Molecular Research on Emerging Mosquito-Transmitted RNA Viruses)
In humans, Zika virus and viral RNA have been detected in semen up to 2.2 months and 6 months post infection (pi), respectively. Although the contribution of sexual transmission to the spread of ZIKV is too low to sustain an outbreak, it can increase the risk of infection and the epidemic size as well as prolong the duration of an outbreak. In this study, we explored the potential of antivirals to serve as an effective strategy to prevent sexual transmission. Male AG129 mice infected with a ZIKV isolate from Suriname were treated with the nucleoside analog, 7-deaza-2′-C-methyladenosine (7DMA), that was previously shown to be efficacious in reducing ZIKV viremia and delaying ZIKV-induced disease in mice. Following treatment, viral RNA and infectious virus titers were consistently reduced in the male reproductive organs compared to vehicle-treated mice. This reduction of ZIKV loads in the testis was confirmed by the detection of lower levels of ZIKV antigens. Our data illustrate the value of this mouse model to validate the efficacy of new potential ZIKV drugs at the level of the male reproductive system. View Full-Text
Keywords: antivirals; sexual transmission; Zika virus antivirals; sexual transmission; Zika virus
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MDPI and ACS Style

Jacobs, S.; Delang, L.; Verbeken, E.; Neyts, J.; Kaptein, S.J. A Viral Polymerase Inhibitor Reduces Zika Virus Replication in the Reproductive Organs of Male Mice. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 2122.

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