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Design of antiviral drugs

Antiviral drugs must be designed in a different way to that used for antibiotics or other anti-infective agents. This solution details the considerations that must be taken into account when developing antiviral drugs, and gives examples of different classes of antivirals.

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The vast majority of the machinery required for virus replication is derived from the normal host cell. This provides very few targets for pathways unique to the virus that can be targeted by antiviral drugs. This is in contrast to bacteria, where the microbe has it's own unique biochemistry presenting plentiful opportunities for the design of drugs that will inhibit bacterial cell growth without affecting normal host cells.

Generally antiviral drugs are designed to inhibit pathways that are either absent, or present at much lower levels in non-infected cells. ...

Solution Summary

There are several considerations that must be taken into account when designing drugs to inhibit virus infections. This solution provides details of these factors, with examples of currently used antiviral drugs.