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Efficacy of Antiviral Drugs against Feline Immunodeficiency Virus



Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is one of the most common infectious agents affecting cats worldwide .FIV and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) share many properties: both are lifelong persistent lentiviruses that are similar genetically and morphologically and both viruses propagate in T-lymphocytes, macrophages, and neural cells. Experimentally infected cats have measurable immune suppression, which sometimes progresses to an acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. A transient initial state of infection is followed by a long latent stage with low virus replication and absence of clinical signs. In the terminal stage, both viruses can cause severe immunosuppression. Thus, FIV infection in cats has become an important natural model for studying HIV infection in humans, especially for evaluation of antiviral compounds. Of particular importance for chemotherapeutic studies is the close similarity between the reverse transcriptase (RT) of FIV and HIV, which results in high in vitro susceptibility of FIV to many RT-targeted antiviral compounds used in the treatment of HIV-infected patients. Thus, the aim of this article is to provide an up-to-date review of studies on antiviral treatment of FIV, focusing on commercially available compounds for human or animal use.
Vet. Sci. 2015, 2, 456-476; doi:10.3390/vetsci2040456
veterinary sciences
ISSN 2306-7381
Efficacy of Antiviral Drugs against Feline Immunodeficiency
Katrin Hartmann *, Anita Wooding and Michèle Bergmann
Clinic of Small Animal Medicine, LMU Munich, Veterinaerstrasse 13, 80539 Munich, Germany;
E-Mails: (A.W.); (M.B.)
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-Mail:;
Tel.: +49-89-2180-2650.
Academic Editors: Ellen (Liz) Sparger and Jane Sykes
Received: 14 August 2015 / Accepted: 21 October 2015 / Published: 18 December 2015
Abstract: Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) is one of the most common infectious
agents affecting cats worldwide .FIV and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) share
many properties: both are lifelong persistent lentiviruses that are similar genetically and
morphologically and both viruses propagate in T-lymphocytes, macrophages, and neural
cells. Experimentally infected cats have measurable immune suppression, which
sometimes progresses to an acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. A transient initial state
of infection is followed by a long latent stage with low virus replication and absence of
clinical signs. In the terminal stage, both viruses can cause severe immunosuppression. Thus,
FIV infection in cats has become an important natural model for studying HIV infection in
humans, especially for evaluation of antiviral compounds. Of particular importance for
chemotherapeutic studies is the close similarity between the reverse transcriptase (RT) of
FIV and HIV, which results in high in vitro susceptibility of FIV to many RT-targeted
antiviral compounds used in the treatment of HIV-infected patients. Thus, the aim of this
article is to provide an up-to-date review of studies on antiviral treatment of FIV, focusing on
commercially available compounds for human or animal use.
Keywords: FIV; antiviral compounds; treatment; therapy
Vet. Sci. 2015, 2 457
1. Introduction
FIV can induce immunosuppression, which predisposes cats to secondary infections, stomatitis,
neuropathies, and tumors. FIV does not directly cause severe clinical disease in most infected cats.
Thus, FIV-infected cats can live with a good quality of life for many years with preventive health
measures, and overall survival time of infected cats is not necessarily shorter than in uninfected
cats [13]. The most important strategy for managing FIV-infected cats is treatment of secondary
infections. In cats with recurrent infections despite aggressive management, additional treatment with
antiviral drugs (e.g., plerixafor and/or zidovudine) can be considered. Cats with no identifiable
secondary diseases or with secondary disease that has been treated successfully might still suffer from
problems likely associated with FIV, such as neurologic abnormalities or stomatitis; in these cases,
antiviral treatment (e.g., with zidovudine) is also an option.
Antiviral compounds interfere with certain steps in the viral replication cycle. Based upon steps
targeted, the drugs can be assigned to different drug classes [4,5]. This review covers the most
common drugs used for treatment of FIV infection (Table A1): reverse transcriptase inhibitors (RTIs),
which inhibit the retroviral enzyme reverse transcriptase (RTIs); drugs that inhibit other viral enzymes,
such as DNA or RNA polymerases, thereby interfering with virus genome replication or with
proteinases necessary for splitting precursor proteins during viral assembly (nucleotide synthesis
inhibitors); drugs that target viral entry by binding to specific receptors that the virus uses for
adsorption to the target cell, by acting as fusion inhibitors preventing conformational changes of the
virus necessary for the fusion process, or by interfering with viral uncoating (receptor
homologues/antagonists) [4,6]; drugs that inhibit integration by inhibiting the retroviral enzyme
integrase (integrase inhibitors); drugs that inhibit viral replication by inhibiting the retroviral enzyme
protease (protease inhibitors); and interferons.
Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors
The most commonly used antiretroviral drugs in human and veterinary medicine are RTIs. There are
three categories of RTIs: nucleoside analogue RTIs (NARTIs, Section 1), nucleotide analogue RTIs,
Section 2, and non-nucleoside RTIs (NNRTIs, Section 3) [5,7]. A nucleoside consists of a nitrogenous base
covalently attached to a sugar (ribose in RNA, 2-deoxyribose in DNA), and a nucleotide consists of a
nitrogenous base, a sugar, and a phosphate group. Nucleic acid (RNA and DNA) contains a chain of
nucleotides covalently linked to form a sugar-phosphate backbone with protruding nitrogenous bases.
Prior to linkage of a new nucleotide (or monophosphate) to the nucleic acid, three phosphate groups
must be bound to the nucleoside (triphosphate), two of which are removed, releasing energy during
elongation of the nucleic acid chain [5].
2. Nucleoside Analogue Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors
NARTIs are the most widely used antiviral compounds in both human and veterinary medicine.
NARTIs are molecules that are similar to the “true” nucleosides and require intracellular phosphorylation
for activation. Due to their structural similarities, they can bind to the active center of enzymes (e.g., RT,
other polymerases) and block enzyme activity. Many of these analogues are also integrated into growing
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DNA or RNA strands, but because of small differences in the molecular structure, chain termination
results or nonfunctional nucleic acids are produced [5,8,9]. NARTIs are accepted as false substrates by
viral enzymes as well as by cellular enzymes, which is the main reason for their toxicity [10].
2.1. Zidovudine
Zidovudine (3-azido-2,3-dideoxythymidine, AZT) was first synthesized in the 1960s [11] as a
potential anticancer drug. In 1985 it was shown to be effective against HIV [12] and became the first
drug approved for treatment of HIV infection [13].
The anti-FIV activity of zidovudine has been assessed in numerous in vitro studies in different cell
systems [14,1526]. The first in vitro study was carried out in 1989, when North and coworkers showed
that zidovudine inhibited FIV replication in Crandell-Rees feline kidney (CRFK) cells. The susceptibility
of FIV to zidovudine was similar to that of HIV [27]. There is evidence that FIV can become resistant to
nucleoside analogues, as is the case in HIV. Zidovudine-resistant FIV mutants can arise after only six
months of use, and a single-point mutation in the FIV gene is responsible for resistance [10].
In vivo, zidovudine can reduce plasma viral load, improve the immunologic and clinical status of
FIV-infected cats, increase quality of life, and prolong life expectancy [16]. In placebo-controlled
trials, zidovudine improved stomatitis and increased the CD4/CD8 ratio in naturally FIV-infected cats.
In some cats with FIV-associated neurologic signs, marked improvement was reported within the first
days of therapy [28,29].
Zidovudine not only inhibits RT, but also cellular polymerases, and this can lead to bone marrow
suppression. Regular blood cell counts are necessary during zidovudine treatment because non-regenerative
anemia is a common side effect [28]. Cats with bone marrow suppression should not be treated
with zidovudine. Most FIV-infected cats treated with zidovudine for as long as two years tolerated the
drug well. The hematocrit can decline within three weeks of initiating treatment to approximately 50%
of baseline but increases afterwards in most cases, even without discontinuation of treatment. If the
hematocrit drops below 20%, discontinuation of treatment is recommended, and anemia usually
resolves within a few days. Other side effects in cats, including vomiting or anorexia, are rare [28].
2.2. Stavudine
Stavudine (2,3-didehydro-2,3-dideoxythymidine, d4T) is another drug effective against HIV.
It was approved for treatment of HIV infection in 1994, but in recent years has been replaced in most
multi-drug treatment protocols by compounds with fewer side effects [3034].
Stavudine is active against FIV in vitro [1820,23,26,35,36]. Mutants of FIV that are resistant to
stavudine and cross-resistant to several other antivirals, including zidovudine, have been detected.
Resistance is caused by a single-point mutation in the RT-encoding region of the pol gene [26].
No in vivo data in FIV-infected cats have been published.
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2.3. Didanosine
Didanosine (2,3-dideoxyinosine, ddl) was shown to be active against HIV in 1986 [37]. In the
United States, it was the second drug to be approved for treatment of HIV and has been on the market
since 1991 [5].
Didanosine is active against FIV in vitro [14,18,2024,26,38]. In one experimental in vivo study,
FIV replication was significantly suppressed in animals treated with didanosine, but treatment
contributed to the development of antiretroviral toxic neuropathy [39].
2.4. Lamivudine
Lamivudine (2R,cis-4-amino-l-(2-hydroxymethyl-1,3-oxathiolan-5-yl)-(1H)-pyrimidin-2-one, 3TC)
is also an anti-HIV drug, approved in 1995 [40].
Lamivudine is active against FIV in vitro [3,20,21,23,38,41]. A combination of zidovudine and
lamivudine had synergistic anti-FIV activities in cell cultures [41]. FIV mutants resistant to lamivudine
and containing a point mutation in the RT gene were selected in vitro and showed cross resistance to
zidovudine [23].
In one in vivo study, experimentally FIV-infected cats were treated with a high-dose zidovudine/
lamivudine combination, which protected some cats from infection when treatment was started before
virus inoculation. However, zidovudine/lamivudine treatment showed no anti-FIV activity in chronically
infected cats. Severe side effects, including fever, anorexia, and marked hematologic changes, were
observed in some of the cats with this high-dose dual-drug treatment [41]. Thus, high-dose lamivudine
treatment alone, or in combination with zidovudine, is not recommended in naturally FIV-infected cats.
2.5. Emtricitabine
Emtricitabine (2',3'-deoxy-5-fluoro-3'-thiacytidine, FTC) is structurally similar to lamivudine and
was licensed by the FDA in 2003 [40]. In vitro, antiviral efficacy has been demonstrated against
FIV [17,2022], but to date there have been no in vivo studies in FIV-infected cats.
2.6. Abacavir
Abacavir ((1S,4R)-4-[2-amino-6-(cyclopropylamino)-9H-purin-9-yl]-2-cyclopentene-1-methanol, ABC)
was shown to be active against HIV in 1986 and belongs to the FDA-approved anti-HIV compounds [40].
Abacavir is active against FIV in vitro, but had higher levels of cytotoxicity than other compounds,
such as didanosine and amdoxovir [16,20]. There are no in vivo studies of this drug in FIV-infected cats.
3. Nucleotide Analogue Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors
Similar to NARTIs, NtARTIs also interact with the catalytic site of RT and are incorporated into the
elongating proviral DNA strand, causing chain termination [5,42]. They compete with natural
nucleotides and therefore function as competitive substrate inhibitors. However, in contrast to NARTIs,
NtARTIs already contain one phosphate group and thus need only two intracellular phosphorylation
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steps for conversion to their active forms because the first and often rate-limiting phosphorylation step
is unnecessary [5,42,43].
3.1. Adefovir
Adefovir (2-(6-amino-9H-purin-9-yl)-ethoxy-methyl-phosphonic acid, PMEA) is active against
herpesviruses, hepadnaviruses (hepatitis B), and retroviruses [44]. Adefovir is not licensed as an HIV
drug, but is currently available as an oral formulation (bis-POM PMEA) approved for the treatment of
chronic hepatitis B. Adefovir belongs to the acyclic nucleoside phosphonates, in which the alkyl side
chain of purines and pyrimidines is linked to a modified phosphate moiety and a C-P phosphonate
linkage replaces the normal O5-P phosphate linkage [43,45]. This phosphonate bond is not
hydrolysable, which makes it more difficult to cleave off these compounds once they have been
incorporated at the 3-terminal end of the elongating proviral DNA strand [5]. Adefovir inhibits FIV
replication in vitro [46].
Several studies have investigated the efficacy of adefovir in either experimentally and naturally
FIV-infected cats [47,4853]. A few of those studies showed some efficacy, but also reported severe
side effects, mainly non-regenerative anemia. In a recent study, adefovir was administered to FIV-infected
cats in a six-week placebo-controlled, double-blinded clinical trial; ten cats received adefovir
(10 mg/kg SC twice weekly) and ten cats received placebo. There was no decrease in proviral or viral
loads in treated cats, and treated cats developed a progressive, sometimes life-threatening anemia,
which is a common adverse effect of NtARTIs [53]. This shows that results obtained in experimental
studies cannot always be applied to a field situation and emphasizes the importance of controlled
clinical field trials. Based on the lack of efficacy in the recent placebo-controlled field trial and the side
effects, adefovir cannot be recommended for treatment of FIV-infected cats.
3.2. Tenofovir
Currently, the only approved NtARTi for the treatment of HIV infection is tenofovir disoproxil
fumarate (TDF), the prodrug of tenofovir ((R)-9-(2-phosphonylmethoxypropyl)adenine, (R)-PMPA),
which is also a member of the acyclic nucleoside phosphonates [43,45]. The antiviral spectrum
of tenofovir (2R-1-(6-amino-9H-purin-9-yl)-propan-2-yl-oxy-methyl-phosphonic acid, PMPA) is
narrower than that of adefovir; it does not encompass herpesviruses, but is confined to hepadna- and
retroviruses [44]. Tenofovir disoproxil fumarate has become one of the most commonly used drugs in
HIV therapy since its licensing in 2001 [5,9].
Tenofovir is effective against FIV in vitro [25,45], and there is some evidence that tenovovir might
have greater anti-FIV efficacy with less cytotoxicity than other antiretroviral compounds, including
adefovir [45,54]. However, in vivo studies are lacking and should be a focus of future research.
4. Non-Nucleoside Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors
Most of the NNRTIs are highly specific for HIV-1 and are not active against other retroviruses,
including HIV-2 and FIV [7,42]. Unlike NARTIs and NtARTIs, which bind to the catalytic site of RT,
non-nucleoside RT inhibitors interact with an allosteric site of the enzyme [5] and are not incorporated
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into the proviral DNA strand [42]. They are classified as non-competitive inhibitors of RT and do not
require intracellular activation for inhibition of the enzyme [8,42]. NNRTIs are a group of structurally
diverse compounds that all bind a single site of the RT [55]. The interaction with
the allosteric site which is located in close proximity to the catalytic site, leads to a number of
conformational changes of the RT [55,56]. Among other effects, these changes cause a reduction in the
interaction between the DNA primer and the polymerase domain of the enzyme and thus, inhibit virus
replication [55,56].
Three of the FDA-approved NNRTIs (nevirapine, delavirdine, efavirenz) have been shown not to be
effective against FIV in vitro [40,57]. In vivo studies have not been performed, presumably because of
the lack of in vitro efficacy [7,57]. Only one old NNRTI, suramin, with a broad antiviral spectrum has
been used in veterinary medicine. A major breakthrough in the treatment of FIV would be the
discovery of more NNRTIs with activity against FIV RT.
Suramin (1-(3-benzamido-4-methylbenzamido)-naphthalene 4,6,8-trisulfonic acid sym-3-urea
sodium salt), a sulfated naphthylamine and trypan red derivative, is one of the oldest known
antimicrobial agents. It has been used as an antitrypanosomal agent and for the treatment of some
tumors, such as prostate cancer [58]. It also has an inhibitory effect on the RT activity of retroviruses
and has also been used in humans with HIV infection [59]. Suramin inhibits RT by interacting with the
template-primer binding site of the enzyme. Thus, it competitively binds to the primer binding site
(without being a nucleoside analogue) and inhibits the template-primer binding that is necessary for
DNA elongation. Suramin can therefore be classified as an NNRTI [60].
Suramin is effective against feline leukemia virus (FeLV) in vivo [61,62], and thus, could
potentially be active against FIV, although this has not been investigated.
Suramin is associated with a significant number of severe side effects in humans, such as nausea
and anaphylactic shock as immediate reactions during administration and peripheral neuritis leading to
palmar-plantar hyperesthesia, photophobia, skin reactions, agranulocytosis, hemolytic anemia, and
destruction of the adrenal cortex as later side effects [58,59,6365]. In cats with FeLV infection, the
major adverse effects of suramin were transient vomiting and anorexia [61].
5. Nucleotide Synthesis Inhibitors
Nucleotide synthesis inhibitors prevent synthesis of nucleotides through various mechanisms.
They have a broad spectrum of activity but are associated with marked toxicity mainly because they
are non-selective and therefore also interfere with normal cellular nucleotide synthesis. Some, for
instance foscarnet, interfere with the exchange of pyrophosphate from deoxynucleoside triphosphate
during viral replication by binding to RT or DNA polymerase, thereby preventing nucleotide
synthesis [66]. Others, such as ribavirin, inhibit inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase after intracellular
phosphorylation, which in turn leads to inhibition of guanosine monophosphate.
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5.1. Foscarnet
Foscarnet (phosphonoformic acid, PFA) has broad-spectrum antiviral activity against DNA and
RNA viruses, including retroviruses. It is FDA-approved for the treatment of HIV-associated
cytomegalo and herpes simplex virus infections in humans [67]. Foscarnet is usually administered
intravenously by continuous intravenous infusion because of its short half-life, which has also been
demonstrated in cats [68]. Oral administration of the drug is possible but can result in irritation of
mucous membranes and oral bleeding. Foscarnet has many side effects, including nephrotoxicity and
myelosuppression, in both humans and cats. It also is toxic to epithelial cells and mucous membranes,
resulting in gastrointestinal side effects and genital epithelium ulceration. In addition, it chelates
various cations, which can lead to hypocalcemia, hypomagnesemia, and hypokalemia [69,70].
In vitro, foscarnet has been shown to be active against FIV, but foscarnet-resistant FIV strains can
develop [14]. No in vivo studies in FIV-infected cats have been carried out, likely because of the
severe side effects and necessity for continuous intravenous administration of the drug.
5.2. Ribavirin
Ribavirin (1-β-D-ribofuranosyl-1 H-1,2,4-triazole-3-carboxamide, RTCA) has marked in vitro
antiviral activity against a variety of DNA and RNA viruses [71]. Systemic administration of ribavirin
is limited in cats because of side effects [72]. Sequestration of ribavirin within erythrocytes results in
hemolysis, even when low doses of the drug are used [73,74]. In addition, there is a dose-related toxic
effect on bone marrow, primarily on megakaryocytes, resulting in thrombocytopenia and hemorrhage.
With prolonged ribavirin treatment or at higher doses, the production of erythrocytes and neutrophils
also is suppressed. Ribavirin also can induce hepatic toxicity. An attempt to decrease the toxicity of
ribavirin by incorporating it into lecithin-containing liposomes and administering it at lower doses was
not successful [75].
Ribavirin is active against many viruses in vitro, including FIV [23,76]. Therapeutic concentrations
are difficult to achieve in vivo because of toxicity [74]. To date, the efficacy of ribavirin has not been
investigated in FIV-infected cats.
6. Receptor Homologues/Antagonists
Receptor homologues/antagonists bind to the virus or to the cellular receptor, leading to inhibition
of viral cell-surface binding. Most of the receptor homologues/antagonists are highly selective for HIV
and not useful in veterinary medicine. An exception is the class of antiviral compounds called
bicyclams, which have been used in cats with FIV infection. Bicyclams act as potent and selective
CXC chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4) antagonists [77,78]. Chemokine receptors belong to the group
of seven transmembrane-proteins that enable signal transmission through rapid influx of calcium
into the cell. They are essential co-receptors for HIV as well as for FIV during infection of CD4+
lymphocytes [79,80]. By binding to CXCR4, bicyclams prevent interaction of CXCR4 with other
ligands, thereby inhibiting the entry of HIV or FIV into the cell [8183].
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Plerixafor (1,1-(1,4-phenylenbismethylene)-bis(1,4,8,11-tetraazacyclotetradecane)-octachlo-ride
dehydrate, AMD3100) is the bicyclam prototype compound. It is not marketed as an anti-HIV drug,
but is used in humans for stem cell mobilization [84].
Plerixafor is active against FIV in vitro [82]. In a placebo-controlled double-blinded clinical trial,
treatment of naturally FIV-infected cats with plerixafor resulted in a significant decrease in proviral
load in treated cats when compared to the placebo group. There was a concomitant decrease in serum
magnesium levels, which did not produce any clinical consequences. Development of resistance of
FIV isolates to plerixafor did not occur during treatment [53]. In cats, plerixafor is administered at a
dosage of 0.5 mg/kg every 12 h. Monitoring of magnesium and calcium levels should be performed at
regular intervals during treatment [53]. Further studies investigating the potential of this promising
drug are needed.
7. Protease Inhibitors
Protease inhibitors (PI) specifically bind to the active site of the protease and therefore prevent viral
replication. Several PIs have been used for successful treatment of HIV. Nevertheless, side effects and
development of viral resistance were found during treatment, and therefore additional compounds that
bind to sites other than the active site of the protease have been developed [8587].
7.1. Tipranavir
Tipranavir (N-[3-[(1R)-1-[(2R)-6-hydroxy-4-oxo-2-(2-phenylethyl)-2-propyl-3H-pyran-5-yl]propy
l]phenyl]-5-(trifluoromethyl)pyridin-2-sulfonamid) was approved in 2005, and is used as an anti-HIV
compound. The drug was shown to be active against FIV in vitro.Tipranavir completely prevented FIV
replication [85,86]. No studies in FIV-infected cats exist so far, and further studies are needed to
investigate the potential of tipranavir in naturally infected cats.
7.2. Lopinavir
Lopinavir (2S)-N-[(2S,4S,5S)-5-[2-(2,6-dimethylphenoxy)acetamido]-4-hydroxy-1,6-diphenylhex-
an-2-yl]-3-methyl-2-(2-oxo-1,3-diazinan-1-yl)butanamide) is an anti-HIV compound, approved in
2001. The drug was shown to be active against FIV in vitro but did not prevent FIV replication
completely [85]. There are no in vivo studies in FIV-infected cats.
7.3. Atazanavir
Atazanavir (methyl N-[(2R)-1-[2-[(2S,3S)-2-hydroxy-3-[[(2R)-2-(methoxycarbonylamino)-3,3-di-
drazinyl]-3,3-dimethyl-1-oxobutan-2-yl]carbamate) was licensed by the FDA in 2003 and is also used
as an anti-HIV compound. Similar to lopinavir, some efficacy of atazanavir was shown against FIV in
vitro, but there are no in vivo studies published so far [85].
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8. Integrase Inhibitors
The enzyme integrase catalyzes strand transfer (3-end joining), which inserts both viral DNA ends
into a host cell chromosome during proviral DNA integration [5,88]. Once integrated, the provirus
persists in the host cell genome and functions as a template for replication of the viral genome, leading
to the formation of new viruses [89]. The high degree of conservation of integrase-active sites across
many retroviruses suggests that FIV might also be sensitive to integrase inhibitors [90]. Integrase
inhibitors act through inhibition of integration of the proviral DNA that is produced by reverse
transcription of the viral RNA genome [91].
Raltegravir is used as an anti-HIV compound. The drug was shown to be active against FIV
in vitro [92], but FIV was less susceptible to raltegravir than HIV [92].
No studies in FIV-infected cats exist so far. Although there are no in vivo studies on the efficacy of
raltegravir in FIV-infected cats, the drug recently was shown to be effective against FeLV and was
safe in cats [93].
9. Interferons
Interferons (IFNs) are polypeptide molecules with various biological functions [94]. They play an
important role in mediating antiviral and antigrowth responses and in immune response modulation [95].
They can be divided into type I and type II IFNs, both of which have antiviral properties. Type I IFNs,
including IFN-α, IFN-β, and IFN-ω, are produced by virus-infected cells [94,96], whereas type II IFN,
consisting of only IFN-γ, is produced by activated T lymphocytes and natural killer cells in response to
recognition of virus-infected cells [97]. IFNs act in an autocrine or paracrine fashion [98] inducing an
anti-viral state in non-infected cells. IFNs bind to specific cell surface receptors and result in the
transcription of IFN-stimulated genes. The products of these genes are proteins with potent
anti-viral properties that interfere with various stages of viral replication [98]. Several studies suggest
that retroviral protein synthesis is not affected by IFNs and therefore conclude that the antiviral
activity of IFNs is mainly related to interference with later stages of the viral replication cycle such as
virion assembly and release [94,99]. Interferons also trigger virus-infected cells to undergo apoptosis
by activating gene expression for apoptosis [97,99], which prevents the spread of virus from infected
cells and aids in the clearance of virus infection [97]. Human IFNs have been manufactured by
recombinant DNA technology and are available commercially. Recombinant feline IFN-ω is on the
market in Japan, Australia, and many European countries and is licensed for use in cats and dogs.
9.1. Human Interferon-α
Recombinant human interferon-α (rHuIFN-α) has antiviral and immune-modulatory activity. IFN-α is
active against many DNA and RNA viruses [98]. There are two common treatment regimens for use of
rHuIFN-α in cats: SC injection (104 to 106 U/kg every 24 h) or oral application (1 to 50 U/kg every 24 h).
Human IFN-α becomes ineffective after three to seven weeks of parenteral use in cats because of
the production of neutralizing antibodies [100]. Anti-IFN-α antibody production does not occur with oral
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administration of IFN-α and therefore this route allows for a longer period of treatment. IFN-α is
inactivated by gastric acid and destroyed by trypsin and other proteolytic enzymes in the duodenum [101],
which means that direct antiviral effects are unlikely after oral application. However, oral IFN-α
appears to have immuno-modulatory activity, because it can stimulate local lymphoid tissue. The
release of cytokines by lymphatic cells in the oropharyngeal area triggers a cascade of immunologic
responses with systemic effects [102104].
RHuIFN-α has been shown to be active against FIV in vitro [105]. Although frequently used in the
field for treating FIV-infected cats, controlled studies evaluating the effect of parenteral administration
of rHuIFN-α in FIV-infected cats have not been conducted.
Use of oral rHuIFN-α in 24 ill, naturally FIV-infected cats (50 U/kg applied to the oral mucosa daily
for seven days on alternating weeks for six months, followed by a two-month break, and then repetition
of the six-month treatment) resulted in improvement of clinical signs (e.g., fever, lymphadenopathy,
opportunistic infections) in a placebo-controlled, double-blinded study [106]. However, proviral and
viral loads were not monitored during thiat study and therefore it is impossible to conclude whether
treatment with rHuIFN- α had indeed an effect on FIV, or rather on secondary infections.
9.2. Feline Interferon-ω
Recombinant feline interferon-ω (rFeIFN-ω), the corresponding feline interferon, is licensed for use
in veterinary medicine in Japan, Australia, and some European countries. It can be used in cats for long
periods without antibody development, and no major severe side effects have been reported [107].
IFN-ω inhibits FIV replication in vitro [105]. One placebo-controlled, multicenter study that
investigated the effect of parenteral rFeIFN-ω against FIV infection in 62 naturally FIV-infected cats
(treated with 106 U/kg SC q 24 h on five consecutive days) did not find a difference in the survival rate
in treated cats. However, some improvement in clinical scores, including eight categories of clinical
signs (rectal temperature, behavior, appetite, thirst, dehydration, mucous membrane appearance,
stomatitis, and death) as well as improvement in laboratory abnormalities (leukopenia, leukocytosis,
and anemia) occured [107]. In another study, which evaluated naturally FIV-infected cats housed in a
shelter, some clinical improvement was observed after parenteral rFeIFN-ω (106 U/kg SC q 24 h on
FIVe consecutive days for three cycles), but this study lacked a placebo control. In that same study,
hematologic values remained within reference intervals, and there were no biochemical abnormalities
associated with rFeIFN-ω treatment [96].
A recent study evaluated the use of oral administration of rFeIFN-ω for the treatment of eleven
client-owned, naturally FIV-infected cats with clinical signs [108]. The treatment protocol was 105 U/cat
PO q 24 h for 90 consecutive days, administered by the cats’ owners. A historical retrospective group
was used as a control for comparison (106 U/kg SC q 24 h on five consecutive days for three cycles),
but a placebo group was not included. Treatment with oral rFeIFN-ω resulted in a significant
improvement in clinical scores (e.g., oral lesions, coat appearance, body condition score, and ocular
discharge) after treatment. In addition, there was no significant difference between the SC historical
control group and the PO group, suggesting that oral administration of rFeIFN-ω might be a viable and
less expensive alternative [109]. In a recently published study that assessed viremia, provirus load, and
blood cytokine profile in naturally FIV-infected cats treated with oral rFeIFN-ω (105 U/cat PO q 24 h
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for 90 days) or with subcutaneous rFeIFN-ω (106 U/cat SC q 24 h for 5 consecutive days in three
courses), no change in the level of viremia or in most cytokine levels was found; a placebo control
group was not included [109]. The fact that virus load remained unchanged but some clinical
improvement was observed in earlier studies suggests that rFeIFN-ω has an effect on secondary
infections rather than on FIV itself [94]. As there are major differences in outcomes of the different
studies on feline IFN-ω in FIV-infected cats. Thus, a definitive conclusion cannot be drawn without
additional randomized, placebo-controlled, and double-blinded studies that include a sufficiently high
number of naturally FIV-infected cats.
10. Conclusions
Unfortunately, the efficacy of antiviral compounds for the treatment of FIV in cats has been
generally poor. The duration of treatment in many clinical trials was relatively short and might have
been inadequate for infections with a long clinical course. In addition, it is difficult to compare
treatment results of cats infected experimentally and kept under laboratory conditions and pet cats
infected with field strains of FIV. Therefore, further well-designed double-blinded, placebo-controlled
trials using antiviral drugs in naturally FIV-infected cats are needed to determine the efficacy and side
effects of different antiviral compounds.
The authors did not receive a grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or
non-profit-sectors for the preparation of this review article.
Author Contributions
Katrin Hartmann had the original idea for the review and draftet the manuscript together with
Michèle Bergmann and Anita Wooding. All authors revised and approved the final manuscript.
Conflicts of Interest
The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.
Vet. Sci. 2015, 2 467
Table A1. Treatment options (antiviral drugs) for FIV-infected cats (including EBM grades for judgment of the available efficacy data; EBM
grades used according to the European Advisory Board of Cat Diseases (ABCD).
Efficacy In Vitro
Efficacy in Vivo
Authors Personal Opinion
Ebm Level (IIv)
Zidovudine (AZT)
yes [27,14,1620,2226,38]
yes [76,28,29]
effective in some cats (e.g., with
stomatitis, neurological disorders)
Stavudine (d4T)
yes [14,18,2023,26,76]
possibly effective, but no data in cats available
Didanosine (ddI)
yes [14,1824,26,38]
yes [39]
effective in one experimental study, but neurologic side effects
Zalcitabine (ddC)
yes [14,15,17,19,21
possibly effective, but toxic
Lamivudine (3TC)
yes [16,17,2023,76]
no [41]
not very effective, toxic in high dosages
Emtricitabine (FTC)
yes [17,2022]
possibly effective, but no data in cats available
Abacavir (ABC)
yes [20]
possibly effective but toxic
Nucleotide Analogue ReverseTranscriptase Inhibitors
Adefovir (PMEA)
yes [28]
no [4752]
effective in some cats, but relatively toxic
Tenofovir (PMPA)
yes [25,35,45]
possibly effective, but also likely relatively toxic
Non-Nucleoside Reverse
Transcriptase Inhibitor
likely too toxic
Nucleotide Synthesis Inhibitors
Foscarnet (PFA)
yes [14]
effective in vitro, but too toxic
yes [23,76]
possibly effective, but too toxic in cats
Receptor Homologues/Antagonists
yes [82]
yes [53]
some effect in a study in privately-owened cats
(thus, can be considered as treatment)
Vet. Sci. 2015, 2 468
Table A1. Cont.
Efficacy in Vitro
Efficacy in Vivo
Authors Personal Opinion
Ebm Level (IIV)
Protease Inhibitors
yes [85]
potentially effective, but no in vivo data available
yes [85]
likely ineffective
yes [85]
likely ineffective
Integrase Inhibitors
yes [85]
possibly effective, but no data in FIV-infected cats available
Human interferon-α (IFN-α) SC high dose
(106 U/kg q 24 h on five consecutive days)
yes [105]
no [100]
likely ineffective
SC intermediate dose
(105 U/kg q 24 h for 90 days)
yes [105]
likely ineffective
PO low dose (50 U/kg every 24 h for long-
term period)
yes [105]
yes [106]
some efficacy (most likely through effect on secondary
Feline interferon-ω (IFN-ω) SC high dose
106 U/kg q 24 h on FIVe consecutive days
yes [105]
yes [107]
some improvement of clinical signs (most likely
through effect on secondary infection)
PO intermediate dose 105 U/cat q
24 h for 90 consecutive days
yes [105]
yes [108]
potentially some efficacy (most likely through
effect on secondary infection)
PO low dose 105 U/cat q 24 h
for 90 consecutive days
yes [105]
potentially effective (most likely through
effect on secondary infection)
FIV, feline immunodeficiency virus; nd, not determined.
EBM, evidence based medicine [4,110]:
EBM grade I = This is the best evidence, comprising data obtained from properly designed, randomized controlled clinical trials in the target species (in this
context cats).
EBM grade II = Data obtained from properly designed, randomized controlled studies in the target species with spontaneous disease in an experimental setting.
EBM grade III = Data based on non-randomized clinical trials, multiple case series, other experimental studies, and dramatic results from uncontrolled studies.
EBM grade IV = Expert opinion, case reports, studies in other species, pathophysiological justification.
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distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license
... Therefore, FIV-RT is a core enzyme in viral replication and infection. Treatment of FIV-infected cats could be performed by inhibiting FIV-RT, for example, the use of nucleotide analog or non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors [3,4]. ...
... They share structural similarities to the natural substrates of the enzyme, therefore, both inhibitors bind at the active site of FIV-RT. Zidovudine (3´-azido-2´,3´-dideoxythymidine or AZT) was the first antiviral drug used to treat HIV infection in humans, and it was then applied to cure FIV infection in cats [3]. In human, 1-5 mg/ kg AZT was injected intravenously every 4-8 h for 2 weeks, and then, 2-10 mg/kg AZT was given orally for another 2 weeks. ...
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Background and aim: Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) causes AIDS-like symptoms in domestic and wild cats. Treatment of infected cats has been performed using human anti-HIV drugs, which showed some limitations. This study aimed to determine the anti-FIV potential of some mushrooms. Materials and methods: A total of 17 medicinal and edible mushrooms were screened to find their inhibitory effect against FIV reverse transcriptase (FIV-RT). Three solvents, water, ethanol, and hexane, were used to prepare crude mushroom extracts. Fluorescence spectroscopy was used to perform relative inhibition and 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC50) studies. Results: The ethanol extract from dried fruiting bodies of Inonotus obliquus showed the strongest inhibition with an IC50 value of 0.80±0.16 μg/mL. The hexane extract from dried mycelium of I. obliquus and ethanol and water extracts from fresh fruit bodies of Phellinus igniarius also exhibited strong activities with the IC50 values of 1.22±0.20, 4.33±0.39, and 6.24±1.42 μg/mL, respectively. The ethanol extract from fresh fruiting bodies of Cordyceps sinensis, hexane extracts from dried mycelium of I. obliquus, ethanol extracts of Ganoderma lucidum, hexane extracts of fresh fruiting bodies of Morchella esculenta, and fresh fruiting bodies of C. sinensis showed moderate anti-FIV-RT activities with IC50 values of 29.73±12.39, 49.97±11.86, 65.37±14.14, 77.59±8.31, and 81.41±17.10 μg/mL, respectively. These mushroom extracts show anti-FIV potential. Conclusion: The extracts from I. obliquus, P. igniarius, C. sinensis, and M. esculenta showed potential anti-FIV activity.
... Strategies for repositioning efficient HIV-1 treatments to tackle FIV infection have also been studied to identify treatments suitable for these veterinary needs. For instance, nucleoside analogues, such as 3'-azido-3'-deoxythymidine (AZT), have been tested as treatments of FIV infection [15][16][17] . However, none have proven to have sufficient treatment efficacy against FIV 8,17 . ...
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ÖZET Virüsler zorunlu hücre içi patojenlerdir. Hücre içi olmaları nedeni ile konakçıya zarar vermeden tedavileri oldukça güçtür. Beşeri hekimlikte olduğu gibi veteriner hekimlikte de hayvanlarda birçok farklı viral enfeksiyon gözlenebilmektedir. Bazı viral enfeksiyonlar ise hayvan türüne özgü olabilmektedir. Beşeri hekimlikte viral enfeksiyonların tedavisi için bazı antiviraller bulunmaktadır. Ancak veteriner hekimlikte antiviral amaçlı bir tane ruhsatlı ürün bulunmaktadır. Rekombinant feline interferon omega (rFeIFNΩ) kediler için kullanımı onaylanmış antiviral interferondur. Ancak kedilerde, köpeklere göre çok daha fazla farklı viral enfeksiyon gözlenebilmektedir. Kedilerin viral enfeksiyonlara karşı duyarlılığı oldukça yüksek olabilmektedir. Bu durum veteriner hekimleri, beşeri ilaçlara yönelmesine neden olmaktadır. Bu derlemede kedilerde gözlenen başlıca viral enfeksiyonlar ve tedavide kullanılan ilaçlar hakkında kısa bilgiler verilmeye çalışılmıştır. Anahtar kelimeler: Kedi, antiviral, tedavi ABSTRACT Viruses are obligate intracellular pathogens. Because they are intracellular, they are very difficult to treat without harming the host. As in human medicine, many different viral infections can be observed in animals in veterinary field. Some viral infections may be specific to the animal species. There are some antivirals for the treatment of viral infections in human medicine. However, there is only one licensed product for antiviral in veterinary medicine. Recombinant feline interferon omega (rFeIFNΩ) is antiviral interferon approved for use in cats. However, many different viral infections can be observed in cats than in dogs. Cats can show highly susceptible to viral infections. This situation causes veterinarians to turn to human drugs. In this review, brief information about the main viral infections observed in cats and the drugs used in the treatment has been tried to be given. Keywords: Cat, antiviral, treatment
Alpha-amanitin, one of the amatoxins in egg amanita, has a cyclic peptide structure, and was reported as having antiviral activity against several viruses. We investigated whether α-amanitin has antiviral activity against feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). FL-4 cells persistently infected with FIV Petaluma were cultured with α-amanitin. Reverse transcriptase (RT) activity in the supernatant of FL-4 cells was significantly inhibited by α-amanitin. In addition, the production of FIV core protein in FL-4 cells was inhibited by α-amanitin when analyzed by western blotting. Furthermore, α-amanitin inhibited the transcription of FIV in real-time RT-PCR. These data suggested that α-amanitin showed anti-FIV activity by inhibiting the RNA transcription level.
During immature capsid assembly in cells, the Gag protein of HIV-1 and other primate lentiviruses co-opts a host RNA granule, forming a pathway of assembly intermediates that contains host components, including two cellular enzymes shown to facilitate assembly, ABCE1 and DDX6. Here we asked whether a non-primate lentivirus, feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), also forms such RNA-granule-derived intracellular capsid assembly intermediates. First, we found that, unlike for HIV-1, the FIV completed immature capsid and the largest putative assembly intermediate are unstable during analysis. Next, we identified in situ cross-linking conditions that overcame this problem and revealed the presence of FIV Gag complexes that correspond in size to early and late HIV-1 assembly intermediates. Because assembly-defective HIV-1 Gag mutants are arrested at specific intracellular assembly intermediates, we asked if a similar arrest is also observed for FIV. We analyzed four FIV Gag mutants, including three not previously studied that we identified based on sequence and structural similarity to HIV-1 Gag, and found that each is assembly-defective and arrested at the same intermediate as the corresponding HIV-1 mutant. Further evidence that these FIV Gag-containing complexes correspond to assembly intermediates came from co-immunoprecipitation studies demonstrating that FIV Gag is associated with ABCE1 and DDX6, as shown previously for HIV-1. Finally, we validated these co-immunoprecipitations with a proximity ligation assay that revealed co-localization between assembly-competent FIV Gag and ABCE1 in situ . Together, these data offer novel structure-function insights and indicate that primate and non-primate lentiviruses form intracellular capsid assembly intermediates derived from ABCE1-containing RNA granules. Importance Like HIV-1, FIV Gag assembles into immature capsids; however, it is not known whether FIV Gag progresses through a pathway of immature capsid assembly intermediates derived from host RNA granules, as shown for HIV-1 Gag. Here we asked whether FIV Gag forms complexes similar in size to HIV-1 assembly intermediates and if FIV Gag is associated with ABCE1 and DDX6, two host enzymes that facilitate HIV-1 immature capsid assembly that are found in HIV-1 assembly intermediates. Our studies identified FIV Gag-containing complexes that closely resemble HIV-1 capsid assembly intermediates, showed that known and novel assembly-defective FIV Gag mutants fail to progress past these putative intermediates, and utilized biochemical and imaging approaches to demonstrate association of FIV Gag with ABCE1 and DDX6. Thus, we conclude that viral-host interactions important for immature capsid assembly are conserved between primate and non-primate lentiviruses, and could yield important targets for future antiviral strategies.
This chapter deals with feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). It discusses etiology/pathophysiology, epidemiology, signalment, history and clinical signs, diagnosis, management, prognosis, and public health implications of FIV. Transmission is primarily through the bite of an infected cat. Infection by blood transfusion may also potentially occur. The neurologic disease is more prevalent with certain isolates of the virus, which may point to certain envelope protein sequences being more toxic and/or relate to the ability of virus to replicate in the feline nervous system. Acute clinical signs of the infection are generally mild and often consist of the nonspecific signs of lethargy, anorexia, pyrexia, diarrhea, and lymphadenopathy. If a kitten under 6 months of age is antibody positive, it should be retested after 60 days, as maternal antibody could be the cause of the positive assay. Keeping cats indoors and only allowing exposure to known FIV‐negative cats is the best way to prevent the infection.
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XVII Colombian Congress of Pharmacology and Therapeutics XXII Latin American Congress of Pharmacology (LATINFARMA 2019) From Biodiversity to Pharmacology: Dialogue of Knowledge Convention Center, Universidad Libre, Valle del Lili, Santiago de Cali, Colombia September 26-29, 2019 Conference Proceedings jppres_pdf_free [3.2 Mb] DOI: Editing, design and realization: Octavio Piñeros, René Delgado Hernández, Marisela Valdés, Gabino Garrido Editorial Scientific Council: Octavio Piñeros, René Delgado Hernández, Catalina Estrada González, Ivanoba Pardo Herrera
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XVII Colombian Congress of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, XXII Latin American Congress of Pharmacology (LATINFARMA 2019). From Biodiversity to Pharmacology: Dialogue of Knowledge. Convention Center, Universidad Libre, Valle del Lili, Santiago de Cali, Colombia. September 26-29, 2019
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Introduction: Dipyrone is positioned in several countries as one of the first pain management alternatives. Adverse effects are known worldwide. However, there are no studies of hypoxic encephalopathy as an outcome. In this study, it is reported a case of hypoxic encephalopathy after the application of dipyrone. Methodology: Case report of hypoxic encephalopathy. Results: 55-year-old patient history of bronchial asthma for 10 years. The patient is controlled with Salbutamol Inhaler Prednisolone 5mg/d. This person is transported to the emergency department on February 28, 2016, with a diagnose of pain and inflammation of the testicles with two days of evolution. There were not abnormal findings consigned in the medical record. After the administration of Dipyrone, the following severe reactions were presented: vagal symptoms, loss of muscle tone, emesis of food content, universal wheezing, respiratory distress and the patient entered into a cardiorespiratory arrest. After about 10 minutes of resuscitation, the person recovers pulse and respiration. Measures that involved the bladder and rectal sphincter (enuresis and encopresis), acute tonic clonic convulsions and cerebral TACs as well as presence of brain edema and anti-brain edema measures were taken (mechanical ventilation assistance, induced coma, neuro-infection coverage). Additionally, observation on the admission of paraclinics with leukocytosis, mixed Acidemia and pathological analysis was done. There was also an evaluation by a nutritionist, who points out that the patient in regular clinical conditions, requires entire nutritional support (nutrition by probe as the only way of feeding). An electroencephalogram carried out on 14 March 2016 was requested in which it was seen generalized cortical dysfunction anomaly GIII encephalopathy type, without pattern epileptiform and without isoelectric trace. On the part of neurosurgery, it is considered that the patient is quadriphasic without external contact and severely sensory affected. Finally, it was a found a patient with "hypoxic encephalopathy" in coma vigil, with functional tracheostomy, gastrostomy and malnutrition. Conclusion: Dipyrone generated in JS adverse liver events requiring discussion in applied clinical pharmacology1, 2. Acknowledgment: To the JS family for agreeing to participate.
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This study assesses viremia, provirus and blood cytokine profile in naturally FIV-infected cats treated with two distinct protocols of interferon omega (rFeIFN-ω). Samples from FIV-cats previously submitted to two single-arm studies were used: 7/18 received the licensed/subcutaneous protocol (SC) while 11/18 were treated orally (PO). Viremia, provirus and blood mRNA expression of interleukin (IL)-1, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, IL-12p40, Interferon-γ and Tumor Necrosis Factor-α were monitored by Real-Time qPCR. Concurrent plasma levels of IL-6, IL-12p40 and IL-4 were assessed by ELISA. IL-6 plasma levels decreased in the SC group (p = 0.031). IL-6 mRNA expression (p = 0.037) decreased in the PO group, albeit not sufficiently to change concurrent plasma levels. Neither viremia nor other measured cytokines changed with therapy. Proviral load increased in the SC group (p = 0.031), which can be justified by a clinically irrelevant increase of lymphocyte count. Independently of the protocol, rFeIFN-ω seems to act on innate immunity by reducing pro-inflammatory stimulus. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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Raltegravir (Isentress ™) is a potent integrase inhibitor of gammaretroviruses in vitro.•In this study, the effect of Raltegravir was evaluated in vivo for safety (3 cats) and efficacy in 7 cats persistently viremic with FeLV.•While Raltegravir treatment was well tolerated up to.•80 mg b.i.d., it resulted in a significant decrease in plasma FeLV loads (5x). However, after treatment termination, plasma FeLV loads increased to default levels.•It was concluded that Raltegravir treatment efficiently reduces FeLV loads but that this reduction was not sufficient for the immune system to subdue viremia.•In combiantion with other antiretroviral procedures, Raltegravir may be efficacious to control FeLV viremia and to cure cats from its consequences.
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Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 reverse transcriptase (HIV-1 RT) is an essential enzyme for retroviral replication. Together with protease inhibitors, drugs inhibiting the RNA-and DNA-dependant DNA polymerase activity of RT are the major components of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), which has dramatically reduced mortality and morbidity of people living with HIV-1/AIDS in developed countries. This article will focus on HIV-1 RT inhibitors (HIV-1 RTIs) approved by the US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) and those are in phases II and III clinical trials. RT inhibitors belong to two main classes acting by distinct mechanisms. Nucleoside RT inhibitors (NRTIs) lack a 3′ hydroxyl group on their ribose or ribose mimic moiety and thus act as chain terminators. Non-NRTIs bind into a hydrophobic pocket close to the polymerase active site and inhibit the chemical step of the polymerization reaction. For each class of inhibitors, we review the mechanism of action, the resistance mechanisms selected by the virus, and the side effects of the drugs. We also discussed about the new RT inhibitors under development and some QSAR studies on HIV-1 RTIs.
Feline leukemia virus, subgroup C/Sarma (FeLV-C/Sarma) induces pure red blood cell aplasia in cats. Although erythroid (BFU-E and CFU-E) and granulocyte/macrophage (CFU-GM) progenitors are infected with this virus, only erythropoiesis is impaired. Two to 3 weeks before the onset of anemia, CFU-E become undetectable in marrow cultures while earlier erythroid progenitors (BFU-E) persist, suggesting that FeLV-C/Sarma (presumably via its envelope glycoprotein gp70) inhibits the differentiation of BFU-E to CFU-E in vivo. To correlate in vitro observations with the progression of disease, prospective studies were performed in six cats. These studies showed that at the time that the frequencies of CFU-E decreased in marrow cultures, BFU-E no longer responded to hematopoietic growth factor(s), although the responses of CFU-GM were unchanged. In further studies, anemic cats received suramin, a reverse-transcriptase inhibitor with other diverse effects. Within 4 to 14 days, erythropoiesis improved and up to 1,616 CFU-E were detected per 10(5) marrow mononuclear cells. However, progenitor cells remained infected, suggesting that suramin modulated erythroid differentiation without inhibiting progenitor infection. These observations led to the hypothesis that the gp70 of FeLV-C/Sarma impairs BFU-E differentiation by interference with ligand/receptor interactions or signal transduction pathways unique to erythroid cells. Understanding this mechanism should provide insights into the interactions controlling early erythropoiesis.
Background and Design.— Suramin sodium, a polysulfonated naphthylurea, has been used for more than 70 years as a chemotherapeutic agent for a variety of diseases. In a phase II trial of suramin, 20 patients with metastatic prostate carcinoma refractory to hormonal manipulation were evaluated retrospectively for evidence of skin toxicity.Results.— Three types of skin reaction were noted: generalized, erythematous, maculopapular eruption (10 patients); keratoacanthoma (two patients); and disseminated superficial actinic porokeratosis (one patient). A total of 15 episodes of some form of skin reaction occurred in 13 patients. The maculopapular eruptions resolved in 3 to 5 days despite continued treatment wtih suramin.Conclusions.— Cutaneous toxicity was a frequent and, often, self-limited side effect of suramin therapy, occurring in 13 (65%) patients. Keratoacanthoma and disseminated superficial actinic porokeratosis have not previously been reported to occur with suramin therapy. The immunosuppressive effect of suramin may induce the keratoacanthoma and disseminated superficial actinic porokeratosis lesions.(Arch Dermatol. 1992;128:75-79)
OBJECTIVE: To review the evidence describing the safety of ganciclovir and foscarnet in neonates in order to guide treatment for central nervous system or disseminated herpes simplex infections in cases of acyclovir shortage or resistance. METHODS: PubMed, Ovid Medline, and International Pharmaceutical Abstracts were searched using the thesaurus and text-word terms “ganciclovir” and “foscarnet,” with birth to 1 month age limits. Thirty-two eligible publications describing safety in neonates were identified. RESULTS: In 340 neonates treated for cytomegalovirus (CMV), life-threatening neutropenia (absolute neutrophil count <0.5 × 109/L) was reported in 8.8% of patients following up to 12 months of ganciclovir administered intravenously. Neutropenia and thrombocytopenia occurred in 25.6% and 6.2% of neonates, respectively. Changes in serum creatinine concentration of >0.2 mg/dL occurred in <1% of neonates. Hepatic transaminase increases or unspecified changes in liver function tests were reported in 6.2% of neonates with hyperbilirubinemia being observed in 3.5% of total neonates. Three out of four neonates receiving foscarnet for acyclovir-resistant herpes infection or CMV survived with minimal sequelae. Neither nephrotoxicity nor electrolyte or mineral imbalances were reported. CONCLUSIONS: Similar to what is seen in adolescents and adults, ganciclovir use in neonates is commonly associated with neutropenia, and the frequency of occurrence is comparable. The link between hepatotoxicity and ganciclovir should be interpreted with caution because of overlapping clinical manifestations of CMV. Only case reports are available describing foscarnet use in neonates, but adverse drug reactions were not observed. More research on these two agents is needed to draw conclusions about adverse drug reaction rates in the neonatal population.