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Viruses 2018, 10(2), 72;

Favipiravir and Ribavirin Inhibit Replication of Asian and African Strains of Zika Virus in Different Cell Models

Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Medicine, Korea University Guro Hospital, Seoul 08308, Korea
Department of Tropical Medicine, Medical Microbiology and Pharmacology, Pacific Center for Emerging Infectious Diseases Research, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI 96813, USA
These two authors contributed equally to this work.
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 3 January 2018 / Revised: 29 January 2018 / Accepted: 8 February 2018 / Published: 9 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Antivirals & Vaccines)
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Zika virus (ZIKV) has recently emerged as a new public health threat. ZIKV infections have caused a wide spectrum of neurological diseases, such as Guillain–Barré syndrome, myelitis, meningoencephalitis, and congenital microcephaly. No effective therapies currently exist for treating patients infected with ZIKV. Herein, we evaluated the anti-viral activity of favipiravir (T-705) and ribavirin against Asian and African strains of ZIKV using different cell models, including human neuronal progenitor cells (hNPCs), human dermal fibroblasts (HDFs), human lung adenocarcinoma cells (A549) and Vero cells. Cells were treated with favipiravir or ribavirin and effects on ZIKV replication were determined using quantitative real-time PCR and plaque assay. Our results demonstrate that favipiravir or ribavirin treatment significantly inhibited ZIKV replication in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, favipiravir treatment of ZIKV-infected hNPCs led to reduced cell death, enhanced AKT pathway phosphorylation, and increased expression of anti-apoptotic factor B cell lymphoma 2. In conclusion, our results demonstrate conclusively that favipiravir inhibits ZIKV replication and prevents cell death, and can be a promising intervention for ZIKV-associated disease. View Full-Text
Keywords: favipiravir; ribavirin; Zika virus; hNPCs; anti-viral favipiravir; ribavirin; Zika virus; hNPCs; anti-viral

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Kim, J.-A.; Seong, R.-K.; Kumar, M.; Shin, O.S. Favipiravir and Ribavirin Inhibit Replication of Asian and African Strains of Zika Virus in Different Cell Models. Viruses 2018, 10, 72.

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