From actually toxic to highly specific – novel drugs against poxviruses

  • The potential use of variola virus, the causative agent of smallpox, as a bioweapon and the endemic presence of monkeypox virus in Africa demonstrate the need for better therapies for orthopoxvirus infections. Chemotherapeutic approaches to control viral infections have been less successful than those targeting bacterial infections. While bacteria commonly reproduce themselves outside of cells and have metabolic functions against which antibiotics can be directed, viruses replicate in the host cells using the cells' metabolic pathways. This makes it very difficult to selectively target the virus without damaging the host. Therefore, the development of antiviral drugs against poxviruses has initially focused on unique properties of the viral replication cycle or of viral proteins that can be selectively targeted. However, recent advances in molecular biology have provided insights into host factors that represent novel drug targets. The latest anti-poxvirus drugs are kinase inhibitors, which were originally developed to treat cancer progression but in addition block egress of poxviruses from infected cells. This review will summarize the current understanding of anti-poxvirus drugs and will give an overview of the development of the latest second generation poxvirus drugs.

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Author:Katja Sliva, Barbara SchnierleORCiDGND
Pubmed Id:
Parent Title (English):Virology journal
Publisher:BioMed Central
Place of publication:London
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2007/05/30
Date of first Publication:2007/01/15
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2007/05/30
Page Number:7
First Page:1
Last Page:7
© 2007 Sliva and Schnierle; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Source:Virology Journal 2007, 4:8. - doi:10.1186/1743-422X-4-8 ;
Institutes:keine Angabe Fachbereich / keine Angabe Institut
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 2.0