[Source: Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]
Lethal mutagenesis of Rift Valley fever virus induced by favipiravir
Belén Borrego, Ana I. de Ávila, Esteban Domingo, Alejandro Brun
Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) is an emerging, mosquito-borne, zoonotic pathogen with recurrent outbreaks paying a considerable toll of human deaths in many African countries, for which no effective treatment is available. In cell culture studies and with laboratory animal models, the nucleoside analogue favipiravir (T-705) has demonstrated great potential for the treatment of several seasonal, chronic and emerging RNA virus infections of humans, suggesting applicability to control some viral outbreaks. Treatment with favipiravir was shown to reduce the infectivity of Rift Valley fever virus both in cell cultures and in experimental animal models, but the mechanism of this protective effect is not understood. In this work we show that favipiravir at concentrations well below the toxicity threshold estimated for cells is able to extinguish RVFV from infected cell cultures. Nucleotide sequence analysis has documented RVFV mutagenesis associated with virus extinction, with a significant increase in G to A and C to U transition frequencies, and a decrease of specific infectivity, hallmarks of lethal mutagenesis.
Copyright © 2019 Borrego et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.
Keywords: Antivirals; Favipiravir; Arbovirus; Rift Valley fever.