Feline herpesvirus type 1 (FHV-1) causes a potentially fatal disease in cats. Through the use of virus inhibition and cytotoxicity assays, sinefungin, a nucleoside antibiotic, was assessed for its potential to inhibit the growth of FHV-1. Sinefungin inhibited in vitro growth of FHV-1 most significantly over other animal viruses, such as feline infectious peritonitis virus, equine herpesvirus, pseudorabies virus and feline calicivirus. Our results revealed that sinefungin specifically suppressed the replication of FHV-1 after its adsorption to the host feline kidney cells in a dose-dependent manner without obvious cytotoxicity to the host cells. This antibiotic can potentially offer a highly effective treatment for animals infected with FHV-1, providing alternative medication to currently available antiviral therapies.
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