In vivo antiherpesvirus effects of 1-beta-D-arabinofuranosyl-E-5-(2-bromovinyl)uracil (brovavir) were tested in two mouse model infections with herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) strains which showed different degrees of virulence in mice. Successful efficacies of oral and intraperitoneal (i.p.) treatments with brovavir were demonstrated in both intracerebral and i.p. infections with the HSV-1 WT-51 strain of moderate virulence. However, only weak or modest effects of brovavir were observed against the two model infections with a highly virulent strain, HSV-1 VR-3. Brovavir was not effective in reducing mortality of mice infected i.p. with HSV-1 KOS, which exhibited the highest virulence in mice among HSV-1 strains used when inoculated i.p. However, the drug had a significant effect on intracerebral infection with the KOS strain. Efficacies of oral treatment with brovavir were almost equal to those of i.p. administration in the model infections. After intracerebral inoculation, the VR-3 strain grew in brains of mice at a higher rate than the WT-51 strain. By oral treatment with 50 mg of brovavir per kg twice daily, replication of the WT-51 strain in the brains was markedly suppressed and was eliminated after transient elevation of the titer. Growth of the VR-3 strain in the brains was simply delayed by the drug treatment. Thus, the antiviral efficacy of brovavir in mice was affected by the degree of virulence of the challenge virus strain used for infection
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