Trends in pharmacological sciences vol:23 issue:10 pages:456-8
Although it is often stated that only vaccination would be able to contain or protect the population against a catastrophic smallpox outbreak, the acyclic nucleoside phosphonate analog cidofovir offers a valuable alternative for the therapy and short-term pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis, not only of smallpox but also of other poxvirus infections and DNA viruses. Cidofovir has proven effective against vaccinia, cowpox and monkeypox in various animal model infections. In cell culture, cidofovir has demonstrated activity against variola virus, the etiological agent of smallpox, and in patients it has shown marked efficacy against molluscum contagiosum and orf, two poxvirus infections. Cidofovir is available as an aqueous solution for intravenous administration and could be reformulated for topical (cream or gel), intranasal (aerosol) or peroral (as a lipid prodrug) use, should the need arise.