A synthetic nucleoside analogue 1-β--ribofuranosyl-1,2,4-triazole-3-carboxamide (ribavirin or RTCA) inhibits the replication in tissue culture of influenza B virus and also a wide range of influenza A viruses of human, animal and avian origin. The synthesis of influenza virus-induced antigens and also structural and non-structural polypeptides is inhibited by RTCA as detected by immunofluorescence and by pulse labelling experiments with [S]-methionine. The inhibitory effects of RTCA on influenza A virus replication in tissue culture is reversed by a molar excess of guanosine or xanthosine which suggests that the compound acts at an early stage of virus RNA synthesis prior to the utilisation of the latter nucleosides. A possible inhibitory effect of RTCA on cellular DNA replication is not excluded.


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