Inhibitors of Measles Virus

Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

Antiviral Chemistry and Chemotherapy




International Medical Press

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Measles virus (MV) infections have been almost eradicated in some industrialized nations. However, MV continues to cause severe disease and mortality in the world and is responsible for clusters of exogenous- borne disease in essentially disease-free countries. Because of the ebb and flow of immunization campaigns, especially in the poverty-stricken and war-torn Third World, and the ominous potential for severe disease and mortality, it is vital that research for discovery of therapeutic countermeasures should continue. To that end, a number of compounds have been evaluated for efficacy in vitro and in animal models, and several therapeutic modalities have been tested in the clinic. The only current therapies used in the clinic include ribavirin administered orally or intravenously, alone or in combination with immune serum globulin; these therapies have demonstrated variable efficacy. Therefore, drug discovery efforts have been launched to supplement the existing treatments for MV infections. Antisense molecules, adenosine and guanosine nucleosides, including ring-expanded ‘fat’ nucleoside analogues, brassinosteroids, coumarins, peptide inhibitors, modulators of cholesterol synthesis and a variety of natural products have been screened for efficacy and toxicity both in vitro and in animals. However, none of these agents has gone into human clinical trials and most will not merit further development due to toxicity concerns and/or low potency. Thus, further research is needed to develop more potent and less toxic drugs that could be used for treating MV infections to supplement the existing MV vaccine campaigns.