Antiviral Activity of Emetine Dihydrochloride


Dengue fever has become a global concern as dengue infections are prevalent in the tropics and the subtropics, and can lead to a severe life-threatening illness. Currently, there is a widespread interest to search for vaccine or antiviral therapy to combat DENV infection. In this study, we have identified emetine dihydrochloride with potent antiviral activity against DENV infection. Emetine was also shown to inhibit DENV replication consistently in all the dengue serotypes. Experiments were designed to define the stage of viral replication cycle at which emetine blocked DENV infection. Emetine did not target the entry process of DENV into cells as inhibitory effect of emetine on DENV infectivity remained when naked dengue viral RNA were transfected directly into the cells. Thus, we further investigated the inhibitory effect of emetine through timecourse studies and emetine was shown to strongly inhibit DENV infection at early stage of viral replication cycle by either affecting the synthesis viral RNA pathway or viral protein translation pathway. Quantitative RT-PCR assay indicated that emetine strongly reduced the production of positive-strand and negative-strand of DENV RNA. Ultrastructural analysis of emetine-treated cells further revealed that the formations of membranous replication complexes of DENV within cells were aborted in the presence of emetine. Together, these results suggest that emetine can inhibit DENV infection by impeding viral RNA synthesis therefore emetine could be further assessed and developed as a potential antiviral therapeutic agent against DENV infection.

The Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals (JAA) paves the way to discovery and development of antiviral drugs, compounds, and clinical methods to prevent viral infections. Importantly, JAA provides the opportunity to inform researchers, clinicians, and others working in the field of antiviral drugs and therapies.

Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals is using Editorial Manager System for quality in review process. Editorial Manager is an online manuscript submission, review and tracking systems used by most of the best open access journals. Review processing is performed by the editorial board members of journal or outside experts; at least two independent reviewers approval followed by editor's approval is required for acceptance of any citable manuscript.

Send your manuscript at or as an e-mail attachment to our Editorial Office at

Robert har