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J Infect Dis. 2000 Oct;182(4):1214-7. Epub 2000 Aug 22.

Ribavirin inhibits West Nile virus replication and cytopathic effect in neural cells.

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Emerging Diseases Laboratory, Departments of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Neurology, and Anatomy and Neurobiology, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697-4292, USA.


West Nile virus (WNV) is an emerging mosquito-borne pathogen that was reported for the first time in the Western hemisphere in August 1999, when an encephalitis outbreak in New York City resulted in 62 clinical cases and 7 deaths. WNV, for which no antiviral therapy has been described, was recently recovered from a pool of mosquitoes collected in New York City. In anticipation of the recurrence of WNV during the summer of 2000, an analysis was made of the efficacy of the nucleoside analogue ribavirin, a broad-spectrum antiviral compound with activity against several RNA viruses, for treatment of WNV infection. High doses of ribavirin were found to inhibit WNV replication and cytopathogenicity in human neural cells in vitro.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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