Chapter 3

Recent Advances in the Development of Antiviral Approaches against Hemorrhagic-Fever-Causing Arenaviruses

Viviana Castilla, Jesus E. Brunetti, Maria N. Armiento and Luis A. Scolaro


Arenaviruses, enveloped viruses containing a bisegmented single-stranded RNA genome with ambisense coding strategy, include important hemorrhagic-fevercausing viruses representing a public health threat in endemic areas of Africa and South America. In spite of the danger of pathogenic arenaviruses and their increased emergence in recent years, no specific and safe chemotherapy for these viruses is currently available. This chapter covers recent advances in the development of antiviral strategies to face arenavirus infections. New insights in molecular aspects of virus replication and virus-host interactions have allowed the identification of viral and cellular factors as potential target for antiviral therapy. We will revise the main features of arenavirus biology and the mechanism of antiviral action of different molecules derived from natural sources, chemical synthesis and rational structure-based antiviral drug design. The advantage of targeting viral and cell host factors as complementary approaches for therapy intervention will be discussed. We will particularly discuss the use of novel inhibitory strategies and the main advances in the development of innovative screening platforms.

Total Pages: 58-92 (35)

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