Special Issue "Antivirals Against Influenza"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2010)
Dr. Megan Shaw
Department of Microbiology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, One Gustave L. Levy Place, Box 1124, New York, NY 10029, USA
Fax: +1 212 534 1684
Influenza continues to be a major health problem worldwide due to the constant mutation of circulating viruses and the possible emergence of a new influenza virus. This was emphasized by the declaration of an influenza pandemic in 2009 following the introduction of a novel H1N1 virus into the human population. For both seasonal and pandemic influenza, the availability of effective influenza antiviral drugs is critical for both therapeutic and prophylactic use. There are currently two classes of FDA-approved drugs for treating influenza infections. These are the neuraminidase inhibitors (oseltamivir, zanamivir and peramivir) and the M2 ion channel inhibitors (amantadine and rimantadine). Widespread resistance to the M2 inhibitors, caused by mutations in the M2 protein, has reduced their effectiveness and consequently neuraminidase inhibitors are usually the recommended therapy. However, rapid emergence of oseltamivir resistance amongst the seasonal H1N1 viruses has given cause for concern and clearly indicates that new drugs and/or new approaches are urgently required.
In this special issue on “Antivirals Against Influenza”, the authors provide perspective on recent studies that address resistance to the current antivirals, options for combination therapies, new antiviral candidates in development and the availability of suitable animal models for ascertaining efficacy.
Dr. Megan Shaw