Effects of different drug combinations in immunodeficient mice infected with an influenza a/h3n2 virus

Zeineb Mhamdi, Hugues Fausther-Bovendo, Olus Uyar, Julie Carbonneau, Marie Christine Venable, Yacine Abed, Gary Kobinger, Guy Boivin, Mariana Baz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The prolonged treatment of immunosuppressed (IS) individuals with anti-influenza monotherapies may lead to the emergence of drug-resistant variants. Herein, we evaluated oseltamivir and polymerase inhibitors combinations against influenza A/H3N2 infections in an IS mouse model. Mice were IS with cyclophosphamide and infected with 3 × 103 PFU of a mouse-adapted A/Switzerland/9715293/2013 (H3N2) virus. Forty-eight hours post-infection, the animals started oseltamivir, favipiravir or baloxavir marboxil (BXM) as single or combined therapies for 10 days. Weight losses, survival rates and lung viral titers (LVTs) were determined. The neuraminidase (NA) and polymerase genes from lung viral samples were sequenced. All untreated animals died. Oseltamivir and favipiravir monotherapies only delayed mortality (the mean day to death (MDD) of 21.4 and 24 compared to 11.4 days for those untreated) while a synergistic improvement in survival (80%) and LVT reduction was observed in the oseltamivir/favipiravir group compared to the oseltamivir group. BXM alone or in double/triple combination provided a complete protection and significantly reduced LVTs. Oseltamivir and BXM monotherapies induced the E119V (NA) and I38T (PA) substitutions, respectively, while no resistance mutation was detected with combinations. We found that the multiple dose regimen of BXM alone provided superior benefits compared to oseltamivir and favipiravir monotherapies. Moreover, we suggest the potential for drug combinations to reduce the incidence of resistance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1968
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Baloxavir marboxil
  • Combination therapy
  • Favipiravir
  • H3N2
  • Immunosuppression
  • Influenza
  • Mice
  • Oseltamivir
  • Resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Virology


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