Effective Treatment of Experimental Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus Infection: Consideration of Favipiravir for Use With Infected Organ Transplant Recipients

J Infect Dis. 2018 Jul 13;218(4):522-527. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiy159.


Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) poses a substantial risk to immunocompromised individuals. The case fatality rate in recent clusters of LCMV infection in immunosuppressed organ transplantation recipients has exceeded 70%. In the present study, we demonstrate potent antiviral activity of favipiravir against acute, disseminated LCMV infection in NZB mice. Treatment resulted in complete protection against mortality and dramatic reductions in viral loads. In contrast, ribavirin, the current antiviral of choice, was mostly ineffective. Our findings, and the high lethality associated with LCMV infection in transplant recipients, support the consideration of favipiravir as a first-line therapeutic option.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amides / administration & dosage*
  • Animals
  • Antiviral Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Immunocompromised Host
  • Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis / drug therapy*
  • Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis / virology
  • Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus / isolation & purification*
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred NZB
  • Pyrazines / administration & dosage*
  • Ribavirin / administration & dosage
  • Survival Analysis
  • Transplant Recipients
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Viral Load*


  • Amides
  • Antiviral Agents
  • Pyrazines
  • Ribavirin
  • favipiravir