Galidesivir limits Rift Valley fever virus infection and disease in Syrian golden hamsters

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Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) is a mosquito-borne pathogen endemic to sub-Saharan Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. There are no approved antiviral therapies or vaccines available to treat or prevent severe disease associated with RVFV infection in humans. The adenosine analog, galidesivir (BCX4430), is a broad-spectrum antiviral drug candidate with in vitro antiviral potency (EC50 of less than 50μM) in more than 20 different viruses across eight different virus families. Here we report on the activity of galidesivir in the hamster model of peracute RVFV infection. Intramuscular and intraperitoneal treatments effectively limited systemic RVFV (strain ZH501) infection as demonstrated by significantly improved survival outcomes and the absence of infectious virus in the spleen and the majority of the serum, brain, and liver samples collected from infected animals. Our findings support the further development of galidesivir as an antiviral therapy for use in treating severe RVFV infection, and possibly other related phleboviral diseases.HIGHLIGHTSIntramuscular and intraperitoneal administration of galidesivir reduced severity of RVFV infection in hamsters.Galidesivir significantly improved survival outcome and prevented RVFV replication in the serum and many tissues.Our findings support the continued development of galidesivir through further studies in advanced models of RVF disease.

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