Murine norovirus (MNV-1) exposure in vitro to the purine nucleoside analog Ribavirin increases quasispecies diversity

Timothy R. Julian, Joseph D. Baugher, Christine M. Rippinger, Rebecca Pinekenstein, Abimbola O. Kolawole, Thomas S. Mehoke, Christiane E. Wobus, Andrew B. Feldman, Fernando J. Pineda, Kellogg J. Schwab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Ribavirin is a pharmaceutical antiviral used for the treatment of RNA virus infections including norovirus, hepatitis C virus, hepatitis E virus, Lassa virus, respiratory syncytial virus, and rhinovirus. Despite the drug's history and documented efficacy, the antiviral mechanism of Ribavirin remains unclear. Mechanisms proposed include depletion of the intracellular GTP pool, immunomodulatory effects, induction of error catastrophe, inhibition of viral polymerase activity, and/or inhibition of viral capping. In the present study, we leveraged deep sequencing data to demonstrate that Ribavirin increases murine norovirus (MNV-1) viral diversity. By serial passaging MNV-1 in RAW 264.7 cells for twenty generations in the presence of Ribavirin, we demonstrated statistically significant increases in both the number of unique haplotypes and the average pairwise difference (APD). Based on statistically significant differences in the probability of nucleotide mutations based on Roche 454 sequencing, we also demonstrated that single nucleotide substitutions are increased in the presence of Ribavirin. Finally, we demonstrated Ribavirin's impact on statistically significantly reducing the relative proportion of the dominant sequence within the quasispecies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)165-173
Number of pages9
JournalVirus Research
StatePublished - Jan 4 2016


  • MNV-1
  • Norovirus
  • Quasispecies
  • Ribavirin
  • Serial passaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Cancer Research
  • Virology


Dive into the research topics of 'Murine norovirus (MNV-1) exposure in vitro to the purine nucleoside analog Ribavirin increases quasispecies diversity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this