Advances in Animal and Veterinary Sciences
Targeting Host Cell Factors for Development of Antiviral therapeutics
Naveen Kumar1*, Sunil Maherchandani2
1Virology Laboratory, Division of Animal Health, Central Institute for Research on Goats, Makhdoom, P.O.–Farah, Mathura, UP 281122, India; 2Department of Microbiology and Biotechnology, Rajasthan University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Bikaner, Rajasthan 334001, India
*Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Suitable antiviral medications are unavailable to treat the sick animals suffering from viral infections. To reduce the impact of viral diseases of livestock, controlling the spread of virus is of great importance. Vaccines with good efficacy exist for some but not against all animal viral diseases. However, vaccines cannot be used to provide instantaneous protection during epidemics. Antiviral compounds could be used as a rapid control tool to serve this purpose. Infection of cells with viruses results in the activation of a variety of intracellular signaling pathways that are in part exploited by the virus to ensure efficient replication. The dependencies of the virus on these signaling pathways can be exploited to develop novel antiviral drugs that disrupt signal transduction. Receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK), Raf/MEK/ERK and NF–κB, are important signaling pathways that are required for efficient virus propagation and have attracted some attention as suitable targets for antiviral interventions. These studies are in preclinical phase and will certainly lead to paradigm changes in antiviral drug development. Targeting host cell factor might have an additional advantage in terms of drug resistance because the virus cannot easily replace the missing cellular functions by mutations. Although limited experiments have been performed in animals, encouraging results for Foot–and–mouth disease virus (FMDV) suggest that use of antiviral agents up to 12 h post–infection provides significant protection. Such antiviral drugs can complement emergency vaccination or be applied to treat valuable zoological collections and breeding stocks.
Key Words: Antiviral drugs, Drug resistance, Host factors, Signaling pathways