Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from Virology Journal and BioMed Central.

Open Access Highly Accessed Open Badges Research

Novel antiviral activity of neuraminidase inhibitors against an avian influenza a virus

Hiroshi Ushirogawa and Masanobu Ohuchi*

Author Affiliations

Department of Microbiology, Kawasaki Medical School, 577 Matsushima, Kurashiki, Okayama 701-0192, Japan

For all author emails, please log on.

Virology Journal 2011, 8:411  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-8-411

Published: 19 August 2011



Neuraminidase (NA) inhibitors used for influenza therapy are believed to prevent the release of progeny virus from the surface of an infected cell. In this study, we found that NA inhibitors have a novel antiviral function against an avian influenza virus.


Madin-Darby canine kidney cells, commonly used for the isolation and propagation of the influenza virus, were infected with an avian influenza viral strain A/chicken/German/N/49(H10N7) (H10/chicken) or a human influenza viral strain A/Osaka/981/98(H3N2) (H3/Osaka) virus. Cells were incubated in a medium without or with a NA inhibitor, oseltamivir carboxylate (GS4071), from 1 to 13 h post infection (p.i.). Infected cells were washed 12 h p.i. to remove GS4071, incubated for 1 h without GS4071, and assayed for virus production. Incubation with GS4071 decreased the production of infectious viruses. When H10/chicken virus-infected cells were incubated with GS4071 from 12 to 13 h p.i. (i.e., 1 h before the virus production assay), the inhibitory effect was clearly observed, however, the same was not evident for H3/Osaka virus-infected cells. Furthermore, viral protein synthesis in infected cells was not affected by GS4071. Using a scanning electron microscope, many single spherical buds were observed on the surface of H3/Osaka virus-infected cells incubated without GS4071, whereas many aggregated particles were observed on the surface of cells incubated with GS4071. However, many long tubular virus-like structures, with no aggregated particles, were observed on the surface of H10/chicken virus-infected cells incubated with GS4071. The same results were obtained when another NA inhibitor, zanamivir, was used.


These results indicate that NA inhibitors interfered with virus particle formation in the H10/chicken virus-infected cells, in which the inhibitor caused the formation of long tubular virus-like structures instead of spherical virus particles.