Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy vol:44 issue:5 pages:1146-52
No practical animal models for the testing of chemotherapeutic or biologic agents identified in cell culture assays as being active against measles virus (MV) are currently available. Cotton rats may serve this purpose. To evaluate this possibility, 5-ethynyl-1-beta-D-ribofuranosylimidazole-4-carboxamide (EICAR) and poly(acrylamidomethyl propanesulfonate) (PAMPS), two compounds that have been reported to inhibit MV in vitro, and ribavirin, an established antiviral drug with MV-inhibitory activity, were evaluated for their antiviral activities against MV and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in tissue culture and in hispid cotton rats. A single administration of PAMPS markedly inhibited pulmonary RSV or MV replication (>3 log(10) reduction in pulmonary titer compared to that for controls), but only if this compound was administered intranasally at about the time of virus inoculation. Both EICAR and ribavirin exhibited therapeutic activity against RSV and MV in cotton rats when they were administered parenterally. However, both of these compounds were less effective against MV. On the basis of the pulmonary virus titers on day 4 after virus inoculation, the minimal efficacious dose of EICAR against MV (120 mg/kg of body weight/day when delivered intraperitoneally twice daily) appeared to be three times lower against this virus than that of ribavirin delivered at a similar dose (i.e., 360 mg/kg/day). These findings correlated with those obtained in vitro. The data obtained suggest that cotton rats may indeed be useful for the initial evaluation of the activities of antiviral agents against MV.