Nitazoxanide, tizoxanide and other thiazolides are potent inhibitors of hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus replication

Antiviral Res. 2008 Jan;77(1):56-63. doi: 10.1016/j.antiviral.2007.08.005. Epub 2007 Sep 4.


Nitazoxanide (NTZ), a thiazolide anti-infective, is active against anaerobic bacteria, protozoa, and a range of viruses in cell culture models, and is currently in phase II clinical development for treating chronic hepatitis C. In this report, we characterize the activities of NTZ and its active metabolite, tizoxanide (TIZ), along with other thiazolides against hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) replication in standard antiviral assays. NTZ and TIZ exhibited potent inhibition of both HBV and HCV replication. NTZ was equally effective at inhibiting replication of lamivudine (LMV) and adefovir dipovoxil (ADV)-resistant HBV mutants and against 2'-C-methyl cytidine (2'CmeC) and telaprevir (VX-950)-resistant HCV mutants. NTZ displayed synergistic interactions with LMV or ADV against HBV, and with recombinant interferon alpha-2b (IFN) or 2'CmeC against HCV. Pre-treatment of HCV replicon-containing cells with NTZ potentiated the effect of subsequent treatment with NTZ plus IFN, but not NTZ plus 2'CmeC. NTZ induced reductions in several HBV proteins (HBsAg, HBeAg, HBcAg) produced by 2.2.15 cells, but did not affect HBV RNA transcription. NTZ, TIZ, and other thiazolides are promising new antiviral agents that may enhance current or future anti-hepatitis therapies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / metabolism
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Line
  • Drug Resistance, Viral
  • Hepacivirus / drug effects*
  • Hepacivirus / genetics
  • Hepacivirus / physiology
  • Hepatitis Antigens / metabolism
  • Hepatitis B virus / drug effects*
  • Hepatitis B virus / genetics
  • Hepatitis B virus / physiology
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Serum
  • Thiazoles / metabolism
  • Thiazoles / pharmacology*
  • Virus Replication / drug effects*


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Hepatitis Antigens
  • Thiazoles
  • tizoxanide
  • nitazoxanide