A newly defined taxonomic group, arenaviruses, has been proposed (Rowe 1970, Wildy 1971) on the basis of similarity in virus structure (Murphy 1970), RNA content, sensitivity to lipid solvents, and a group specific antigen demonstrable by immunofluorescence (Rowe 1970). Lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCM) virus was designated the prototype of the group, which presently includes Lassa fever virus and members of the Tacaribe complex of viruses. We wish to report that synthesis of all arenaviruses thus far tested is reduced in the presence of amantadine hydrochloride.

The spectrum of viruses inhibited by amantadine hydrochloride is narrow: most influenza A viruses, Sendai, pseudorabies, rubella, and Rous and Esh sarcoma (Wallbank, Matter & Klinikowski, 1966). All evidence thus far gathered with these viruses suggests that the drug inhibits only at an early stage of infection (Cochran 1965; Hoffmann 1965; Kato & Eggers, 1969; Maassab & Cochran, 1964).


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