Suppression of BK virus replication and cytopathic effect by inhibitors of prokaryotic DNA gyrase

Antiviral Res. 1988 Apr;9(3):205-18. doi: 10.1016/0166-3542(88)90004-6.


Nalidixic acid and oxolinic acid, two antibacterial agents known to inhibit bacterial DNA gyrase, are shown to suppress the replication, as well as the cytopathic effect, of BK virus in Vero cell cultures. The inhibition of virus replication was detectable at day 4 post infection in cultures which had been continuously exposed to drugs at concentrations as low as 0.02 to 0.04 mM of nalidixic acid and 0.2 mM of oxolinic acid. These active concentrations are inferior to plasma levels attained in the course of clinical use of the drugs for antibacterial chemotherapy. Also, under these circumstances, no cytotoxicity occurred. The inhibition of development of cytopathology and of virus-induced cell death was demonstrable in cultures treated for 12 days with the drugs. Under these circumstances of prolonged action, oxolinic acid proved to be slightly cytotoxic in that virus inhibitory doses reduced the viability of normal cells. No alterations in the topological conformation of the viral genome or accumulation of end products of viral DNA replication were detected. However, accumulation of viral DNA form I at 48 h post infection suggests that the drugs act through a mechanism involving DNA topoisomerase.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Viral / biosynthesis
  • BK Virus / drug effects*
  • Cytopathogenic Effect, Viral
  • DNA, Viral / biosynthesis
  • Nalidixic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Oxolinic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Polyomavirus / drug effects*
  • Topoisomerase II Inhibitors*
  • Virus Replication / drug effects*


  • Antigens, Viral
  • DNA, Viral
  • Topoisomerase II Inhibitors
  • Nalidixic Acid
  • Oxolinic Acid