The synthetic antiviral drug arbidol inhibits globally prevalent pathogenic viruses

Eve Isabelle Pécheur, Viktoriya Borisevich, Peter Halfmann, John D. Morrey, Donald F. Smee, Mark Prichard, Chad E. Mire, Yoshihiro Kawaoka, Thomas W. Geisbert, Stephen J. Polyak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Scopus citations


Arbidol (ARB) is a synthetic antiviral originally developed to combat influenza viruses. ARB is currently used clinically in several countries but not in North America. We have previously shown that ARB inhibits in vitro hepatitis C virus (HCV) by blocking HCV entry and replication. In this report, we expand the list of viruses that are inhibited by ARB and demonstrate that ARB suppresses in vitro infection of mammalian cells with Ebola virus (EBOV), Tacaribe arenavirus, and human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8). We also confirm suppression of hepatitis B virus and poliovirus by ARB. ARB inhibited EBOV Zaire Kikwit infection when added before or at the same time as virus infection and was less effective when added 24 h after EBOV infection. Experiments with recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) expressing the EBOV Zaire glycoprotein showed that infection was inhibited by ARB at early stages, most likely at the level of viral entry into host cells. ARB inhibited HHV-8 replication to a similar degree as cidofovir. Our data broaden the spectrum of antiviral efficacy of ARB to include globally prevalent viruses that cause significant morbidity and mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3086-3092
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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