J Vet Sci.  2020 Sep;21(5):e72. 10.4142/jvs.2020.21.e72.

Dewormer drug fenbendazole has antiviral effects on BoHV-1 productive infection in cell cultures

  • 1College of Veterinary Medicine, Yangzhou University, 48 Wenhui East Road, Yangzhou 225009, China
  • 2Jiangsu Co-innovation Center for Prevention and Control of Important Animal Infectious Diseases and Zoonoses, 48 Wenhui East Road, Yangzhou 225009, China


Fenbendazole, a dewormer drug, is used widely in the clinical treatment of parasite infections in animals. Recent studies have shown that fenbendazole has substantial effects on tumor growth, immune responses, and inflammatory responses, suggesting that fenbendazole is a pluripotent drug. Nevertheless, the antiviral effects have not been reported. Fenbendazole can disrupt microtubules, which are essential for multiple viruses infections, suggesting that fenbendazole might have antiviral effects.
This study examined whether fenbendazole could inhibit bovine herpesvirus 1 (BoHV-1) productive infection in cell cultures.
The effects of fenbendazole on viral production, transcription of the immediate early (IE) genes, viron-associated protein expression, and the cellular signaling PLC-γ1/Akt pathway were assessed using distinct methods.
Fenbendazole could inhibit BoHV-1 productive infections significantly in MDBK cells in a dose-dependent manner. A time-of-addition assay indicated that fenbendazole affected both the early and late stages in the virus replication cycles. The transcription of IE genes, including BoHV-1 infected cell protein 0 (bICP0), bICP4, and bICP22, as well as the synthesis of viron-associated proteins, were disrupted differentially by the fenbendazole treatment. The treatment did not affect the cellular signaling pathway of PLC-γ1/Akt, a known cascade playing important roles in virus infection.
Overall, fenbendazole has antiviral effects on BoHV-1 replication.


Bovine herpesvirus 1; immediate early gene; fenbendazole; Akt
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