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01.12.2017 | Research | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

Virology Journal 1/2017

6-methylmercaptopurine riboside, a thiopurine nucleoside with antiviral activity against canine distemper virus in vitro

Virology Journal > Ausgabe 1/2017
Otávio Valério de Carvalho, Daniele Mendes Félix, Claudia de Camargo Tozato, Juliana Lopes Rangel Fietto, Márcia Rogéria de Almeida, Gustavo Costa Bressan, Lindomar José Pena, Abelardo Silva-Júnior



Canine distemper (CD) is a widespread infectious disease that can severely impact a variety of species in the order Carnivora, as well as non-carnivore species such as non-human primates. Despite large-scale vaccination campaigns, several fatal outbreaks have been reported in wild and domestic carnivore populations. This, in association with expansion of the disease host range and the development of vaccine-escape strains, has contributed to an increased demand for therapeutic strategies synergizing with vaccine programs for effectively controlling canine distemper. 6-methylmercaptopurine riboside (6MMPr) is a modified thiopurine nucleoside with known antiviral properties against certain RNA viruses.


We tested the inhibitory effects of 6MMPr against a wild-type CDV strain infection in cell culture. We measured infectious particle production and viral RNA levels in treated and untreated CDV-infected cells. Ribavirin (RIB) was used as a positive control.


Here, we report for the first time the antiviral effects of 6MMPr against canine distemper virus (CDV) in vitro. 6MMPr was able to reduce viral RNA levels and to inhibit the production of infectious CDV particles. The therapeutic selectivity of 6MMPr was approximately six times higher than that of ribavirin.


Our results indicate that 6MMPr has high anti-CDV potential and warrants further testing against other paramyxoviruses, as well as clinical testing of the compound against CDV.
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