Verhandelingen van de Koninklijke Academie voor Geneeskunde van België vol:52 issue:1 pages:69-99
The development of new antiviral agents has gained increasing momentum. It has kept pace with the identification of specific sites ("targets") in the virus replicative cycle at which potential antiviral drug can interact. The current armamentarium of available antiviral drugs consists of amantadine and rimantadine (against influenza A), ribavirin (against respiratory syncytial virus infection), idoxuridine and trifluridine (against herpetic keratitis), vidarabine and acyclovir (against herpes simplex virus infections), ganciclovir (against cytomegalovirus infections) and Retrovir (against AIDS). Various new compounds have been found which selectively inhibit those viruses [i.e. adenovirus, varicella-zoster virus, thymidine kinase-deficient (TK-) herpes simplex virus strains, and rhinoviruses] that are insensitive or poorly sensitive to the presently available antivirals. Several new compounds have also proven active against human immunodeficiency virus, the causative agent of AIDS; and, as a spin-off of the search for anti-AIDS drugs, new agents may also be expected that are effective against other retrovirus infections as well as hepadnavirus (i.e. hepatitis B virus) infections.