In vitro evaluation of the antiviral activity of methylglyoxal against influenza B virus infection

Drug Discov Ther. 2016;10(4):201-10. doi: 10.5582/ddt.2016.01045. Epub 2016 Aug 23.


Influenza A and B virus infections are serious public health concerns globally. However, the concerns regarding influenza B infection have been underestimated. The currently used anti-influenza drugs have not provided equal efficacy for both influenza A and B viruses. Susceptibility to neuraminidase (NA) inhibitors has been observed to be lower for influenza B viruses than for influenza A viruses. Moreover, the emergence of resistance to anti-influenza drugs underscores the need to develop new drugs. Recently, we reported that methylglyoxal (MGO) suppressed influenza A virus replication in a strain-independent manner. Therefore, we hypothesize that MGO exhibits anti-influenza activity against B strains. This study aimed to evaluate the anti-influenza viral activity of MGO against influenza B strains by using Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells. Several types of influenza B viruses were used to determine the activity of MGO. The susceptibilities of influenza A and B viruses to NA inhibitors were compared. MGO inhibited influenza B virus replication, with 50% inhibitory concentrations ranging from 23-140 μM, which indicated greater sensitivity of influenza B viruses than influenza A viruses. Our results show that MGO has potent inhibitory activity against influenza B viruses, including NA inhibitor-resistant strains.

MeSH terms

  • Acids, Carbocyclic
  • Animals
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cyclopentanes / pharmacology
  • Dogs
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Guanidines / pharmacology
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Influenza B virus / drug effects*
  • Inhibitory Concentration 50
  • Madin Darby Canine Kidney Cells
  • Neuraminidase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Oseltamivir / pharmacology
  • Pyrans
  • Pyruvaldehyde / pharmacology*
  • Sialic Acids
  • Virus Replication / drug effects*
  • Zanamivir / analogs & derivatives
  • Zanamivir / pharmacology


  • Acids, Carbocyclic
  • Antiviral Agents
  • Cyclopentanes
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Guanidines
  • Pyrans
  • Sialic Acids
  • Oseltamivir
  • Pyruvaldehyde
  • laninamivir
  • Neuraminidase
  • Zanamivir
  • peramivir