Viral neuraminidase inhibitors show limited efficacy in mice infected with H7N9 influenza A viruses isolated from humans. Although baloxavir marboxil protected mice from lethal challenge infection with a low pathogenic avian influenza H7N9 virus isolated from a human, its efficacy in mice infected with a recent highly pathogenic version of H7N9 human isolates is unknown. Here, we examined the efficacy of baloxavir marboxil in mice infected with a highly pathogenic human H7N9 virus, A/Guangdong/17SF003/2016. Treatment of infected mice with a single 1.5 mg/kg dose of baloxavir marboxil protected mice from the highly pathogenic human H7N9 virus infection as effectively as oseltamivir treatment at 50 mg/kg twice a day for five days. Daily treatment for five days at 15 or 50 mg/kg of baloxavir marboxil showed superior therapeutic efficacy, largely preventing virus replication in respiratory organs. These results indicate that baloxavir marboxil is a valuable candidate treatment for human patients suffering from highly pathogenic H7N9 virus infection.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited