Hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection has emerged as a global health issue, but no approved medication is available. The nucleoside analogue 2’-C-methylcytidine (2CMC), a viral polymerase inhibitor, has been shown to inhibit infection with a variety of viruses, including hepatitis C virus (HCV). Here, we report that 2CMC significantly inhibits the replication of HEV in a subgenomic replication model and in a system using a full-length infectious virus. Importantly, long-term treatment with 2CMC did not result in a loss of antiviral potency, indicating a high barrier to drug resistance development. However, the combination of 2CMC with ribavirin, an off-label treatment for HEV, exerts antagonistic effects. Our results indicate that 2CMC serves as a potential antiviral drug against HEV infection.

doi.org/10.1007/s00705-017-3444-8, hdl.handle.net/1765/100502
Archives of Virology
Department of Gastroenterology & Hepatology

Qu, C., Xu, L., Yin, Y., Peppelenbosch, M., Pan, Q., & Wang, W. (2017). Nucleoside analogue 2’-C-methylcytidine inhibits hepatitis E virus replication but antagonizes ribavirin. Archives of Virology, 1–8. doi:10.1007/s00705-017-3444-8