Combined chloroquine and ribavirin treatment does not prevent death in a hamster model of Nipah and Hendra virus infection

Alexander Freiberg, Melissa N. Worthy, Benhur Lee, Michael R. Holbrook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

40 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Hendra virus (HeV) and Nipah virus (NiV) are recently emerged, closely related and highly pathogenic paramyxoviruses that cause severe disease such as encephalitis in animals and humans with fatality rates of up to 75%. Due to their high case fatality rate following human infection and because of the lack of effective vaccines or therapy, they are classified as Biosafety Level 4 pathogens. A recent study reported that chloroquine, an anti-malarial drug, was effective in preventing NiV and HeV infection in cell culture experiments. In the present study, the antiviral efficacy of chloroquine was analysed, individually and in combination with ribavirin, in the treatment of NiV and HeV infection in in vivo experiments, using a golden hamster model. Although the results confirmed the strong antiviral activity of both drugs in inhibiting viral spread in vitro, they did not prove to be protective in the in vivo model. Ribavirin delayed death from viral disease in NiV-infected hamsters by approximately 5 days, but no significant effect in HeV-infected hamsters was observed. Chloroquine did not protect hamsters when administered either individually or in combination with ribavirin, the latter indicating the lack of a favourable drug-drug interaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)765-772
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of General Virology
Volume91
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2010

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Hendra Virus
Nipah Virus
Ribavirin
Chloroquine
Virus Diseases
Cricetinae
Antiviral Agents
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Active Immunotherapy
Mesocricetus
Antimalarials
Encephalitis
Therapeutics
Drug Interactions
Cell Culture Techniques
Mortality
Infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology

Cite this

Combined chloroquine and ribavirin treatment does not prevent death in a hamster model of Nipah and Hendra virus infection. / Freiberg, Alexander; Worthy, Melissa N.; Lee, Benhur; Holbrook, Michael R.

In: Journal of General Virology, Vol. 91, No. 3, 2010, p. 765-772.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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