Favipiravir and ribavirin inhibit replication of Asian and African strains of zika virus in different cell models

Ji Ae Kim, Rak Kyun Seong, Mukesh Kumar, Ok Sarah Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Zika virus (ZIKV) has recently emerged as a new public health threat. ZIKV infections have caused a wide spectrum of neurological diseases, such as Guillain–Barré syndrome, myelitis, meningoencephalitis, and congenital microcephaly. No effective therapies currently exist for treating patients infected with ZIKV. Herein, we evaluated the anti-viral activity of favipiravir (T-705) and ribavirin against Asian and African strains of ZIKV using different cell models, including human neuronal progenitor cells (hNPCs), human dermal fibroblasts (HDFs), human lung adenocarcinoma cells (A549) and Vero cells. Cells were treated with favipiravir or ribavirin and effects on ZIKV replication were determined using quantitative real-time PCR and plaque assay. Our results demonstrate that favipiravir or ribavirin treatment significantly inhibited ZIKV replication in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, favipiravir treatment of ZIKV-infected hNPCs led to reduced cell death, enhanced AKT pathway phosphorylation, and increased expression of anti-apoptotic factor B cell lymphoma 2. In conclusion, our results demonstrate conclusively that favipiravir inhibits ZIKV replication and prevents cell death, and can be a promising intervention for ZIKV-associated disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number72
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Feb 9
Externally publishedYes


  • Anti-viral
  • Favipiravir
  • HNPCs
  • Ribavirin
  • Zika virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


Dive into the research topics of 'Favipiravir and ribavirin inhibit replication of Asian and African strains of zika virus in different cell models'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this