Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Aim: The main objective of this study was to assess the genotoxicity of ribavirin in 15 patients who were suffering from Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever and treated with the therapy dose of the antiviral agent. Materials and Methods: Genotoxicity was evaluated using the cytokinesis-blocked micronucleus (MN) and sister chromatid exchange (SCE) assays in lymphocyte cultures that were prepared from blood samples collected from the 15 patients. The blood samples were taken on day 9 of a 10-day therapeutic regimen of ribavirin and 1 month after the cessation of therapy. Results: In all patients, the frequency of sister chromatid exchanges and the formation of micronuclei were significantly higher in the lymphocytes of blood samples that were taken in day 9 of the therapy compared to those that were collected 1 month after the cessation of therapy. In addition, on day 9, SCE and MN values were statistically different from the values of no-ribavirin control group. Conclusions: These results showed that ribavirin has a reversible genotoxic effect in humans and this effect could be due to toxic metabolites of ribavirin.


Ribavirin, genotoxic effect, sister chromatid exchange, micronuclei formation

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