• Host cell mTORC1 is required for HCV RNA replication.

      Stöhr, Stefanie; Costa, Rui; Sandmann, Lisa; Westhaus, Sandra; Pfaender, Stephanie; Anggakusuma; Dazert, Eva; Meuleman, Philip; Vondran, Florian W R; Manns, Michael P; et al. (2015-08-14)
      Chronically HCV-infected orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) recipients appear to have improved outcomes when their immunosuppressive regimen includes a mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitor. The mechanism underlying this observation is unknown.
    • Inactivation of HCV and HIV by microwave: a novel approach for prevention of virus transmission among people who inject drugs.

      Siddharta, Anindya; Pfaender, Stephanie; Malassa, Angelina; Doerrbecker, Juliane; Anggakusuma; Engelmann, Michael; Nugraha, Boya; Steinmann, Joerg; Todt, Daniel; Vondran, Florian W R; et al. (2016-11-18)
      Hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) transmissions among people who inject drugs (PWID) continue to pose a challenging global health problem. Here, we aimed to analyse a universally applicable inactivation procedure, namely microwave irradiation, as a safe and effective method to reduce the risk of viral transmission. The exposure of HCV from different genotypes to microwave irradiation resulted in a significant reduction of viral infectivity. Furthermore, microwave irradiation reduced viral infectivity of HIV-1 and of HCV/HIV-1 suspensions indicating that this inactivation may be effective at preventing co-infections. To translate microwave irradiation as prevention method to used drug preparation equipment, we could further show that HCV as well as HIV-1 infectivity could be abrogated in syringes and filters. This study demonstrates the power of microwave irradiation for the reduction of viral transmission and establishment of this safety strategy could help reduce the transmission of blood-borne viruses.
    • Pentagalloylglucose, a highly bioavailable polyphenolic compound present in Cortex moutan, efficiently blocks hepatitis C virus entry.

      Behrendt, Patrick; Perin, Paula; Menzel, Nicolas; Branda, Dominic; Pfaender, Stephanie; Alves, Marco P.; Thiel, Volker; Meulemann, Philip; Colpit, Che C.; Schang, Luis M.; et al. (2017-01-01)
      Approximately 142 million people worldwide are infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV). Although potent direct acting antivirals are available, high costs limit access to treatment. Chronic hepatitis C virus infection remains a major cause of orthotopic liver transplantation. Moreover, re-infection of the graft occurs regularly. Antivirals derived from natural sources might be an alternative and cost-effective option to complement therapy regimens for global control of hepatitis C virus infection. We tested the antiviral properties of a mixture of different Chinese herbs/roots named Zhi Bai Di Huang Wan (ZBDHW) and its individual components on HCV. One of the ZBDHW components, Penta-O-Galloyl-Glucose (PGG), was further analyzed for its mode of action in vitro, its antiviral activity in primary human hepatocytes as well as for its bioavailability and hepatotoxicity in mice. ZBDHW, its component Cortex Moutan and the compound PGG efficiently block entry of HCV of all major genotypes and also of the related flavivirus Zika virus. PGG does not disrupt HCV virion integrity and acts primarily during virus attachment. PGG shows an additive effect when combined with the well characterized HCV inhibitor Daclatasvir. Analysis of bioavailability in mice revealed plasma levels above tissue culture IC