Researchers identify chemical compound that inhibits Ebola virus replication

An organic chemical compound shows effective antiviral activity against Ebola virus and several other viruses, according to a study led by Georgia State University. The researchers found benzoquinoline inhibited the ability of Ebola virus to multiply and reproduce in cell culture. The findings are published in the journal Antiviral Research.

Ebola virus, a member of the filovirus family, is an enveloped, single-stranded RNA virus that causes severe disease in humans. The largest outbreak on record for the filovirus family was caused by Ebola virus in West Africa between 2013 and 2016, resulting in more than 28,000 infections and more than 11,000 deaths.

Only experimental treatments were available, and survivors, including health care workers, are at risk for persistent infections from the virus remaining in sites that can tolerate foreign substances without eliciting an inflammatory immune response, such as the eye and testes. There are no approved drugs to treat Ebola virus or other filovirus infections, so there is a critical need for new therapeutic approaches. A potential antiviral target is the viral machinery and activities involved in carrying out RNA synthesis for Ebola virus.

"This work provides a foundation for the development of novel antiviral agents to combat Ebola virus," said Dr. Christopher Basler, director of the Center for Microbial Pathogenesis and professor in the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State and a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar in Microbial Pathogenesis.

In this study, the researchers screened a library of 200,000 small molecule compounds to identify potential inhibitors of Ebola virus RNA synthesis. They identified 56 hits that inhibited Ebola virus activity by more than 70 percent, while showing less than a 20 percent chance of being toxic to cells. They discovered three chemical structures with potent antiviral activity against Ebola virus in cell culture.

Human lung epithelial cells and human embryonic kidney cells were exposed to several viruses, Ebola virus, Marburg virus, vesicular stomatitis virus and Zika virus, and the antiviral effects of the three chemical structures were observed.

One of these chemical structures, benzoquinoline, showed antiviral activity against Ebola virus and was also active against another deadly filovirus, Marburg virus. Benzoquinoline was also effective against vesicular stomatitis virus from the rhabdovirus family, which can infect insects, cattle, horses and pigs, and Zika virus, which is spread to humans by mosquitoes.

"This study is part of a larger effort to find new therapies to treat highly dangerous Ebola virus infections," said lead author Dr. Priya Luthra of Georgia State.

Luthra P, Liang J, Pietzsch CA, Khadka S, Edwards MR, Wei S, De S, Posner B, Bukreyev A, Ready JM, Basler CF.
A high throughput screen identifies benzoquinoline compounds as inhibitors of Ebola virus replication.
Antiviral Res. 2018 Feb;150:193-201. doi: 10.1016/j.antiviral.2017.12.019.

Most Popular Now

GSK reaches agreement with Novartis to acquire ful…

GlaxoSmithKline plc (LSE/NYSE: GSK) today announces that it has reached an agreement with Novartis for the buyout of Novartis' 36.5% stake in their Consumer Healthcare Jo...

Canadian neuroscientists say daily ibuprofen can p…

A Vancouver-based research team led by Canada's most cited neuroscientist, Dr. Patrick McGeer, has successfully carried out studies suggesting that, if started early enou...

First proof a synthesized antibiotic is capable of…

A "game changing" new antibiotic which is capable of killing superbugs has been successfully synthesised and used to treat an infection for the first time - and could lea...

Merck partners with Medisafe to help improve medic…

Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced a new collaboration with US-based Medisafe to help its cardiometabolic patients better manage medication ...

Phase III data in The Lancet show Novartis siponim…

Novartis today announced that the full results from the Phase III EXPAND study of oral, once-daily siponimod (BAF312) in secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) w...

Taking a standard prostate cancer drug with food b…

By taking a high-cost drug with a low-fat meal - instead of on an empty stomach, as prescribed - prostate cancer patients could decrease their daily dose, prevent digesti...

North and south cooperation to combat tuberculosis

Tuberculosis can be cured and could be eradicated. For this to happen, however, patients have to receive the right treatment. Researchers at the Makerere University and t...

New immunotherapy for lung cancer shows promise of…

In a groundbreaking development, results from a recent clinical trial to treat lung cancer show that a novel immunotherapy combination is surprisingly effective at contro...

Boehringer Ingelheim and OSE Immunotherapeutics an…

Boehringer Ingelheim and OSE Immunotherapeutics, a biotechnology company focused on the development of innovative immunotherapies, have announced a collaboration and excl...

Personalized tumor vaccine shows promise in pilot …

A new type of cancer vaccine has yielded promising results in an initial clinical trial conducted at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and...

Lokelma approved in the EU for the treatment of ad…

AstraZeneca today announced that the European Commission has granted marketing authorisation for Lokelma (formerly ZS-9, sodium zirconium cyclosilicate) for the treatment...

New targeted therapy schedule could keep melanoma …

Skin melanoma, a particularly insidious cancer, accounts for the vast majority skin cancer deaths and is one of the most common cancers in people under 30. Treatment for ...