Antivirals--current trends in fighting influenza.
AbstractInfluenza virus infection is a major source of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Due to the variable effectiveness of existing vaccines, especially in the early stages of an epidemic, antiviral drugs represent the first line of defense against the virus. Currently, there are two major classes of anti-influenza drugs approved by the FDA for clinical use: M2 protein inhibitors (amantadine and rimantadine) and neuraminidase inhibitors (zanamivir and oseltamivir). However, increasing resistance to these available influenza antivirals among circulating influenza viruses highlights the need to develop alternative approaches for the prevention and/or treatment of influenza. This review presents an overview of currently available drugs for influenza treatment as well as summarizes some new antiviral strategies that are now being tested covering agents targeting both the viral proteins and the host-virus interaction. We discuss their mechanisms of action, resistance and the therapeutic potential as new antiviral drug for use in future influenza pandemics. Additionally, combination therapy based on these drugs is also described.
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