Medicinal Research Reviews vol:34 issue:5 pages:895-917
Hepatitis A virus (HAV) is a faeco-orally transmitted picornavirus and is one of the main causes of acute hepatitis worldwide. An overview of the molecular biology of HAV is presented with an emphasis on recent findings. Immune evasion strategies and a possible correlation between HAV and atopy are discussed as well. Despite the availability of efficient vaccines, antiviral drugs targeting HAV are required to treat severe cases of fulminant hepatitis, contain outbreaks, and halt the potential spread of vaccine-escape variants. Additionally, such drugs could be used to shorten the period of illness and decrease associated economical costs. Several known inhibitors of HAV with various mechanisms of action will be discussed. Since none of these molecules is readily useable in the clinic and since the availability of an anti-HAV drug would be of clinical importance, increased efforts should be targeted toward discovery and development of such antivirals.