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Favipiravir Does Not Inhibit Chikungunya Virus Replication in Mosquito Cells and Aedes aegypti Mosquitoes

Abstract : Favipiravir (T-705) is a broad-spectrum antiviral drug that inhibits RNA viruses after intracellular conversion into its active form, T-705 ribofuranosyl 5′-triphosphate. We previously showed that T-705 is able to significantly inhibit the replication of chikungunya virus (CHIKV), an arbovirus transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes, in mammalian cells and in mouse models. In contrast, the effect of T-705 on CHIKV infection and replication in the mosquito vector is unknown. Since the antiviral activity of T-705 has been shown to be cell line-dependent, we studied here its antiviral efficacy in Aedes-derived mosquito cells and in Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Interestingly, T-705 was devoid of anti-CHIKV activity in mosquito cells, despite being effective against CHIKV in Vero cells. By investigating the metabolic activation profile, we showed that, unlike Vero cells, mosquito cells were not able to convert T-705 into its active form. To explore whether alternative metabolization pathways might exist in vivo, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes were infected with CHIKV and administered T-705 via an artificial blood meal. Virus titrations of whole mosquitoes showed that T-705 was not able to reduce CHIKV infection in mosquitoes. Combined, these in vitro and in vivo data indicate that T-705 lacks antiviral activity in mosquitoes due to inadequate metabolic activation in this animal species.
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Submitted on : Friday, August 20, 2021 - 3:53:23 PM
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Sofie Jacobs, Lanjiao Wang, Ana Lucia Rosales Rosas, Ria van Berwaer, Evelien Vanderlinden, et al.. Favipiravir Does Not Inhibit Chikungunya Virus Replication in Mosquito Cells and Aedes aegypti Mosquitoes. Microorganisms, MDPI, 2021, 9 (5), pp.944. ⟨10.3390/microorganisms9050944⟩. ⟨pasteur-03323232⟩

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