Zinc: A Potential Antiviral Against Hepatitis E Virus Infection?

DNA Cell Biol. 2018 Jul;37(7):593-599. doi: 10.1089/dna.2018.4175. Epub 2018 Jun 13.

Abstract

Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is a major cause of viral hepatitis worldwide. Owing to its feco oral transmission route, sporadic as well as epidemic outbreaks recurrently occur. No specific antiviral therapy is available against the disease caused by HEV. Broad spectrum antivirals such as ribavirin and interferon alfa are prescribed in severe and chronic HEV cases. However, the side effects, cost, and limitations of usage render the available treatment unsuitable for several categories of patients. We recently reported the ability of zinc to inhibit viral replication in mammalian cell culture models of HEV infection. Zinc will be a safe and economical antiviral therapy option if it inhibits HEV replication during the natural course of infection. This essay discusses the putative mechanism(s) by which zinc inhibits HEV replication and provides an overview of the possible therapeutic potential of zinc in HEV patients.

Keywords: antiviral development; hepatitis E virus; zinc.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Hepatitis E / drug therapy*
  • Hepatitis E / genetics
  • Hepatitis E / virology
  • Hepatitis E virus / drug effects*
  • Hepatitis E virus / genetics
  • Hepatitis E virus / growth & development
  • Hepatitis E virus / metabolism
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate / drug effects
  • Interferon-alpha / genetics
  • Interferon-alpha / immunology
  • Interferon-gamma / genetics
  • Interferon-gamma / immunology
  • Interferons
  • Interleukins / genetics
  • Interleukins / immunology
  • RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase / genetics
  • RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Viral Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Viral Proteins / genetics
  • Viral Proteins / metabolism
  • Virus Replication / drug effects*
  • Virus Replication / genetics
  • Zinc Compounds / pharmacology*

Substances

  • Antiviral Agents
  • IFNL3 protein, human
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Interleukins
  • Viral Proteins
  • Zinc Compounds
  • Interferon-gamma
  • Interferons
  • RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase