Effects of the combination of favipiravir (T-705) and oseltamivir on influenza A virus infections in mice

Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2010 Jan;54(1):126-33. doi: 10.1128/AAC.00933-09. Epub 2009 Nov 9.


Favipiravir (T-705 [6-fluoro-3-hydroxy-2-pyrazinecarboxamide]) and oseltamivir were combined to treat influenza virus A/NWS/33 (H1N1), A/Victoria/3/75 (H3N2), and A/Duck/MN/1525/81 (H5N1) infections. T-705 alone inhibited viruses in cell culture at 1.4 to 4.3 microM. Oseltamivir inhibited these three viruses in cells at 3.7, 0.02, and 0.16 microM and in neuraminidase assays at 0.94, 0.46, and 2.31 nM, respectively. Oral treatments were given twice daily to mice for 5 to 7 days starting, generally, 24 h after infection. Survival resulting from 5 days of oseltamivir treatment (0.1 and 0.3 mg/kg/day) was significantly better in combination with 20 mg/kg of body weight/day of T-705 against the H1N1 infection. Treatment of the H3N2 infection required 50 mg/kg/day of oseltamivir for 7 days to achieve 60% protection; 25 mg/kg/day was ineffective. T-705 was >or=70% protective at 50 to 100 mg/kg/day but inactive at 25 mg/kg/day. The combination of inhibitors (25 mg/kg/day each) increased survival to 90%. The H5N1 infection was not benefited by treatment with oseltamivir (<or=100 mg/kg/day for 7 days). T-705 was 30 to 70% protective at 25 to 100 mg/kg/day. Survival improved slightly with combination treatments. Increased activity was seen against H5N1 infection by starting treatments 2 h before infection. Oseltamivir was ineffective at <or=40 mg/kg/day. T-705 was 100% protective at 40 and 80 mg/kg/day and inactive at 20 mg/kg/day. Combining ineffective doses (20 mg/kg/day of T-705 and 10 to 40 mg/kg/day of oseltamivir) afforded 60 to 80% protection and improved body weights during infection. Thus, synergistic responses were achieved with low doses of T-705 combined with oseltamivir. These compounds may be viable candidates for combination treatment of human influenza infections.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amides / therapeutic use*
  • Animals
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cell Line
  • Drug Combinations
  • Drug Interactions
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype / drug effects
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype / enzymology
  • Influenza A Virus, H3N2 Subtype / drug effects
  • Influenza A Virus, H3N2 Subtype / enzymology
  • Influenza A Virus, H5N1 Subtype / drug effects
  • Influenza A Virus, H5N1 Subtype / enzymology
  • Influenza A virus* / drug effects
  • Influenza A virus* / enzymology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Neuraminidase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Orthomyxoviridae Infections / drug therapy*
  • Orthomyxoviridae Infections / virology
  • Oseltamivir / therapeutic use*
  • Pyrazines / therapeutic use*


  • Amides
  • Antiviral Agents
  • Drug Combinations
  • Pyrazines
  • Oseltamivir
  • Neuraminidase
  • favipiravir