Antivirals in medical biodefense

AbstractThe viruses historically implicated or currently considered as candidates for misuse in bioterrorist events are poxviruses, filoviruses, bunyaviruses, orthomyxoviruses, paramyxoviruses and a number of arboviruses causing encephalitis, including alpha- and flaviviruses. All these viruses are of concern for public health services when they occur in natural outbreaks or emerge in unvaccinated populations. Recent events and intelligence reports point to a growing risk of dangerous biological agents being used for nefarious purposes. Public health responses effective in natural outbreaks of infectious disease may not be sufficient to deal with the severe consequences of a deliberate release of such agents. One important aspect of countermeasures against viral biothreat agents are the antiviral treatment options available for use in post-exposure prophylaxis. These issues were adressed by the organizers of the 16th Medical Biodefense Conference, held in Munich in 2018, in a special session on the development of drugs to treat infections with viruses currently perceived as a threat to societies or associated with a potential for misuse as biothreat agents. This review will outline the state-of-the-art methods in antivirals research discussed and provide an overview of antiviral compounds in the pipeline that are already approved for use or still under development.
Source: Virus Genes - Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

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