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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Synergistic inhibition of herpesvirus replication by docosanol and antiviral nucleoside analogs.

Interactions between docosanol (n-docosanol, behenyl alcohol) and nucleoside or pyrophosphate analogs were investigated in vitro. The anti-HSV activity of acyclovir (ACV) was synergistically enhanced by treatment of cells with docosanol as judged by inhibition of progeny virus production and plaque formation. This drug interaction between ACV and docosanol was observed with laboratory strains of herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 (HSV-1 and HSV-2), oral and genital clinical isolates of HSV, cytomegalovirus (CMV), and varicella zoster virus (VZV). Near optimal concentrations of docosanol plus ACV inhibited HSV replication >99% more than either drug alone, including emergence of ACV-resistant variants. The response was observed with African Green Monkey kidney cells, normal human foreskin cells, and normal human lung cells. Treatment of cells with docosanol also synergistically intensified the inhibition of HSV production by all tested nucleoside analogs, including trifluorothymidine (TFT), adenine arabinoside (Ara-A), and ribavirin. An additive anti-HSV effect was observed with docosanol and phosphonoformate (PFA). No evidence was found for either synergistic inhibition of cellular DNA synthesis or induction of overt cellular toxicity when docosanol was combined with ACV, TFT, Ara-A, ribavirin, PFA, 8-azaguanine, or 5-fluorouracil. The ability of docosanol treatment to increase the antiviral activities of nucleoside analog antiviral drugs, coupled with a lack of toxic interactions, translates to substantial improvements in drug selectivity ratios.[1]


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