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Viruses 2018, 10(4), 184; https://doi.org/10.3390/v10040184

Arbidol (Umifenovir): A Broad-Spectrum Antiviral Drug That Inhibits Medically Important Arthropod-Borne Flaviviruses

1
Department of Virology, Veterinary Research Institute, Hudcova 70, CZ-62100 Brno, Czech Republic
2
Unit Antiviral Strategies, Institut Pasteur, 25 Dr. Roux, 75724 Paris CEDEX 15, France
3
Insitut Pasteur de Guinée, route de Donka, Conakry, Guinea
4
Institute of Vertebrate Biology, Czech Academy of Sciences, Kvetna 8, CZ-60365 Brno, Czech Republic
5
Institute of Parasitology, Biology Centre of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Branisovska 31, CZ-37005 Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic
These authors contributed equally to this work.
L.E. and D.R. are co-senior authors of this article.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 20 February 2018 / Revised: 4 April 2018 / Accepted: 5 April 2018 / Published: 10 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Antivirals & Vaccines)
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Abstract

Arthropod-borne flaviviruses are human pathogens of global medical importance, against which no effective small molecule-based antiviral therapy has currently been reported. Arbidol (umifenovir) is a broad-spectrum antiviral compound approved in Russia and China for prophylaxis and treatment of influenza. This compound shows activities against numerous DNA and RNA viruses. The mode of action is based predominantly on impairment of critical steps in virus-cell interactions. Here we demonstrate that arbidol possesses micromolar-level anti-viral effects (EC50 values ranging from 10.57 ± 0.74 to 19.16 ± 0.29 µM) in Vero cells infected with Zika virus, West Nile virus, and tick-borne encephalitis virus, three medically important representatives of the arthropod-borne flaviviruses. Interestingly, no antiviral effects of arbidol are observed in virus infected porcine stable kidney cells (PS), human neuroblastoma cells (UKF-NB-4), and human hepatoma cells (Huh-7 cells) indicating that the antiviral effect of arbidol is strongly cell-type dependent. Arbidol shows increasing cytotoxicity when tested in various cell lines, in the order: Huh-7 < HBCA < PS < UKF-NB-4 < Vero with CC50 values ranging from 18.69 ± 0.1 to 89.72 ± 0.19 µM. Antiviral activities and acceptable cytotoxicity profiles suggest that arbidol could be a promising candidate for further investigation as a potential therapeutic agent in selective treatment of flaviviral infections. View Full-Text
Keywords: flavivirus; arbidol; umifenovir; antiviral activity; cytotoxicity; cell-type dependent antiviral effect flavivirus; arbidol; umifenovir; antiviral activity; cytotoxicity; cell-type dependent antiviral effect
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Haviernik, J.; Štefánik, M.; Fojtíková, M.; Kali, S.; Tordo, N.; Rudolf, I.; Hubálek, Z.; Eyer, L.; Ruzek, D. Arbidol (Umifenovir): A Broad-Spectrum Antiviral Drug That Inhibits Medically Important Arthropod-Borne Flaviviruses. Viruses 2018, 10, 184.

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