Inhibition of Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Viral Infectivity Yields in Vitro by Ribavirin

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  • U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, Frederick, Maryland
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Ribavirin was evaluated as a potential therapeutic for Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF). Viral yields for strains of CCHF virus from Europe, Asia, and Africa in African green monkey kidney (Vero) cells were markedly reduced by this drug. Some CCHF viral strains appeared more sensitive than others, but in general, ribavirin doses as low as 5 µg/ml caused a transient reduction of viral yields. A further reduction in viral yields was induced by a dose of 25 µg/ml, and evidence of viral replication was not demonstrated in cells treated with 50 or 250 µg/ml. In contrast, a dose of ribavirin at least 9 times greater was required to induce a comparable inhibitory effect on the yields of Rift Valley fever virus, for which the drug has been shown to inhibit replication in monkeys and rodents.