The macrolide antibiotic azithromycin potently inhibits hepatitis E virus in cell culture models

Zhijiang Miao, Ruyi Zhang, Peifa Yu, Yang Li, Qiuwei Pan*, Yunlong Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
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Hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection in immunocompromised patients, pregnant women and children requires treatment; however, no approved medication is currently available. The macrolide antibiotic azithromycin has been identified as a potent HEV inhibitor. Azithromycin inhibits HEV replication and viral protein expression in multiple cell culture models with genotype 1 and 3 strains. This is largely independent of its induction of an interferon-like response. Because it is safe and cheap, repurposing azithromycin for treating HEV infection is attractive, particularly in resource-limited settings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106383
JournalInternational Journal of Antimicrobial Agents
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021

Bibliographical note

The authors declare that they have no competing interests. Not required. The authors would like to thank Dr Suzanne U. Emerson (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, NIH, USA) for generously providing the HEV plasmids.

Funding: We thank the support by a VIDI grant (No. 91719300) from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) to Q. Pan, and the China Scholarship Council for funding Ph.D. fellowships to Z.M. (No. 201708530234), R.Z. (No. 201808530490), P.Y. (No. 201708620177), Ya.L. (No. 201703250073), and Yu.L. (No. 201708530243).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors


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