Ribavirin is a broad-spectrum antiviral agent that is used against RNA and DNA viruses and has been reported to inhibit infection by influenza A and B virus in vitro and in vivo. Studies have shown that ribavirin can lower convalescent antibody titers in young children hospitalized with influenza. Here, we report that ribavirin administration in juvenile mice significantly attenuated respiratory immune responses, production of total IgA and hemagglutinin (HA)-specific secretory IgA responses on the mucosal surface. In contrast, systemic IgG and IgA responses were not affected. Ribavirin significantly suppressed toll-like receptor 2 and 4 expression in the lung and decreased the level of IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α, and IFN-γ in lung tissues of mice infected with influenza virus. Our findings suggest ribavirin appears to be able to inhibit viral replication and, as a result, TLR and cytokine expression are not up-regulated, attenuating inflammation as well as the respiratory tract’s immune response.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 27, 2017
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