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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2008 May;52(5):1820-8. doi: 10.1128/AAC.01181-07. Epub 2008 Mar 3.

Iminosugars in combination with interferon and ribavirin permanently eradicate noncytopathic bovine viral diarrhea virus from persistently infected cells.

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Oxford Glycobiology Institute, Department of Biochemistry, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QU, United Kingdom.


We evaluated interferon (IFN) and ribavirin (RBV) as dual therapy and as part of triple-combination therapies with the iminosugars N-butyl-deoxynojirimycin (NB-DNJ), N-nonyl-deoxynojirimycin, and N-7-oxanonyl-6-deoxymethyl-galactonojirimycin. The ability of these compounds to clear bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV), a surrogate model for hepatitis C virus (HCV), from a persistently infected Madin-Darby bovine kidney cells cell line was determined by monitoring the secretion of viral RNA and the infectivity of secreted virions. In the BVDV system, after treatment with IFN-RBV alone, viral rebound was observed immediately after removal of the drugs. In contrast, we demonstrate that a triple drug combination of IFN, RBV, and an iminosugar eradicated the BVDV infection in a time- and a dose-dependent manner, leading to sustained viral clearance. Importantly, in the case of NB-DNJ, the sustained viral clearance was achieved by using physiologically relevant and tolerated drug concentrations. Therefore, the use of a triple-combination therapy that includes an iminosugar may prove to be of greater therapeutic value for the treatment of HCV infection than the use of IFN-RBV alone.

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