Caister Academic Press

Current Status of Antiviral Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus Research

Els Keyaerts, Leen Vijgen, and Marc Van Ranst
from: Coronaviruses: Molecular and Cellular Biology (Edited by: Volker Thiel). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2007)


Before the emergence of the severe acute respiratory syndrome associated coronavirus (SARS-CoV), no efforts were put into the search for antivirals against coronaviruses. The rapid transmission and high mortality rate made SARS a global threat for which no efficacious therapy was available and empirical strategies had to be used to treat the patients. New insights into the field of the SARS-CoV genome structure and pathogenesis revealed novel potential anti-coronavirus targets. Several proteins encoded by the SARS-CoV could be considered as targets for therapeutic intervention: the spike protein, the main protease, the NTPase/helicase, the RNA dependent RNA polymerase and different other viral protein-mediated processes. Different animal models have now been established to enable the evaluation of potential anti-SARS-CoV drugs in vivo. The development of effective drugs against SARS-CoV may also provide new strategies for the prevention or treatment of other coronavirus diseases in animals or humans. In this chapter, we review and discuss experimental and clinical data about possible coronavirus antivirals read more ...
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