Antiviral effect of lithium chloride on avian leukosis virus

Research has shown that lithium chloride effectively blocks a subgroup of avian leukosis virus from replicating in chick embryo fibroblast (CEF) cells, showing that it could be used an antiviral agent against the ALV-J.

The study, carried out at the Pirbright Institute, wanted to find out the extent of lithium chloride’s (LiCl) antiviral activity.

In the study, reported in Springer Link, researchers assessed the antiviral activity effect on LiCl on ALV-J infection in CEF cells by using real time PCR, Western blot analysis, IFA and p27 ELISA analysis.

Photo: Ronald Hissink
Photo: Ronald Hissink

The results showed that both viral RNA copy number and protein level decreased significantly in a dose and time dependent manner. Time-course analysis revealed that the antiviral effect was more pronounced when CEF’s were treated at the post-infection stage rather than at early absorption or pre-absorption stages.

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Further experiments demonstrated that LiCl did not affect virus attachment or entry, but rather affected early virus replication. Researchers also found that the inhibition of viral replications after LiCl treatment was associated with reduced mRNA levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines.

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