Valeria Cagno, Cristina Tintori, Andrea Civra, Roberta Cavalli, Marika Tiberi, Lorenzo Botta, Annalaura Brai, Giulio Poli, Caroline Tapparel, David Lembo, Maurizio Botta
Viral infections are an important cause of death worldwide. Unfortunately, there is still a lack of antiviral drugs or vaccines for a large number of viruses, and this represents a remarkable challenge particularly for emerging and re-emerging viruses. For this reason, the identification of broad spectrum antiviral compounds provides a valuable opportunity for developing efficient antiviral therapies. Here we report on a class of rhodanine and thiobarbituric derivatives displaying a broad spectrum antiviral activity against seven different enveloped viruses including an HSV-2 acyclovir resistant strain with favorable selectivity indexes. Due to their selective action on enveloped viruses and to their lipid oxidation ability, we hypothesize a mechanism on the viral envelope that affects the fluidity of the lipid bilayer, thus compromising the efficiency of virus-cell fusion and preventing viral entry.