Arbidol (ARB; ethyl-6-bromo-4-[(dimethylamino)methyl]-5-hydroxy-1-methyl-2-[(phenylthio)methyl]-indole-3-carboxylate hydrochloride monohydrate), is a Russian-made potent broad-spectrum antiviral with demonstrated activity against a number of enveloped and non-enveloped viruses. ARB is well known in Russia and China, although to a lesser extent in western countries. Unlike other broad-spectrum antivirals, ARB has an established molecular mechanism of action against influenza A and B viruses, which is different from that of available influenza antivirals, and a more recently established mechanism of inhibition of hepatitis C virus (HCV). For both viral infections the anti-viral mechanism involves ARB inhibition of virus-mediated fusion with target membrane and a resulting block of virus entry into target cells. However, ARB inhibition of fusion exploits different ARB modalities in case of influenza viruses or HCV. This review aims to summarize the available evidence of ARB effects against different groups of viruses, also, to compare various aspects of ARB anti-fusion mechanisms against influenza virus and HCV (with reference to different stringency of pH-dependence of these two viral fusogens) and to discuss further prospects for ARB and its improved derivatives of the parent compounds.
Keywords: Arbidol, antiviral, influenza viruses, hepatitis C virus, viral fusion