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Ivermectin treatment inhibits the replication of Porcine circovirus 2 (PCV2) in vitro and mitigates the impact of viral infection in piglets

Wang, Xinglong, Lv, Changjie, Ji, Xiaojuan, Wang, Bin, Qiu, Li, Yang, Zengqi
Virus research 2019 v.263 pp. 80-86
Porcine circovirus-2, antiviral properties, cell nucleus, coat proteins, cytoplasm, fluorescence microscopy, ivermectin, nuclear localization signals, physiological transport, piglets, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, tissues
Porcine circovirus 2 (PCV2) capsid protein (Cap) has a nuclear localization signal (NLS) and can enter the nucleus. In this study, ivermectin, a small-molecule nuclear import inhibitor of proteins was used to determine the role of nuclear localization of Cap on PCV2 replication. Observation by fluorescence microscopy of the intracellular localization of Cap and Cap NLS in cells cultured with ivermectin (50 μg/mL) determined that Cap and Cap NLS were located in the cytoplasm; in contrast, for cells cultured without ivermectin, they accumulated in the cell nucleus. Ivermectin treatment also reduced nuclear transport of Cap derived from PCV2 infection as well as PCV2 replication in PK-15 cells. In addition, lower levels of PCV2 in tissues and sera of piglets treated with ivermectin were detected by qPCR. These results established for the first time that ivermectin has potent antiviral activity towards PCV2 both in vitro and vivo.