Orthohantaviruses, previously known as hantaviruses (family Hantaviridae, order Bunyavirales), are emerging zoonoses hosted by different rodent and insectivore species. Orthohantaviruses are transmitted by aerosolized excreta (urine, saliva and feces) of their reservoir hosts. When transmitted to humans, they cause hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) in Asia and Europe and hantavirus (cardio) pulmonary syndrome (HPS) in the Americas. Clinical studies have shown that early treatments of HFRS patients with ribavirin (RBV) improve prognosis. Nevertheless, there is the need for urgent development of specific antiviral drugs. In the search for new RNA virus inhibitors, we recently identified a series of variously substituted 5,6-dichloro-1(2)-phenyl-1(2)H-benzo[d][1,2,3]triazole derivatives active against the human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV). Interestingly, several 2-phenyl-benzotriazoles resulted in fairly potent inhibitors of the Hantaan virus in a chemiluminescence focus reduction assay (C-FRA) showing an EC50 = 4-5 µM, ten-fold more active than ribavirin. Currently, there are no FDA approved drugs for the treatment of orthohantavirus infections. Antiviral activities and cytotoxicity profiles suggest that 5,6-dichloro-1(2)-phenyl-1(2)H-benzo[d][1,2,3]triazoles could be promising candidates for further investigation as a potential treatment of hantaviral diseases.
Keywords: C-FRA; antiviral activity; orthohantavirus; phenyl-benzotriazoles.