Fludarabine inhibits infection of zika virus, sfts phlebovirus, and enterovirus a71

Chengfeng Gao, Chunxia Wen, Zhifeng Li, Shuhan Lin, Shu Gao, Haida Ding, Peng Zou, Zheng Xing, Yufeng Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Viral infections are one of the leading causes in human mortality and disease. Broad-spectrum antiviral drugs are a powerful weapon against new and re-emerging viruses. However, viral resistance to existing broad-spectrum antivirals remains a challenge, which demands development of new broad-spectrum therapeutics. In this report, we showed that fludarabine, a fluorinated purine analogue, effectively inhibited infection of RNA viruses, including Zika virus, Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus, and Enterovirus A71, with all IC50 values below 1 µM in Vero, BHK21, U251 MG, and HMC3 cells. We observed that fludarabine has shown cytotoxicity to these cells only at high doses indicating it could be safe for future clinical use if approved. In conclusion, this study suggests that fludarabine could be developed as a potential broad-spectrum anti-RNA virus therapeutic agent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number774
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Antiviral drugs
  • Enterovirus A71
  • Fludarabine
  • Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus
  • Zika virus


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