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Molecules 2019, 24(5), 997; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules24050997

Novel Therapeutics for Epstein–Barr Virus

Laboratory of Virology and Chemotherapy, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Rega Institute for Medical Research, KU Leuven, 3000 Leuven, Belgium
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Academic Editor: Stefano Aquaro
Received: 15 February 2019 / Revised: 1 March 2019 / Accepted: 4 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in the Development of Antiviral Agents)
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Abstract

Epstein–Barr virus (EBV) is a human γ-herpesvirus that infects up to 95% of the adult population. Primary EBV infection usually occurs during childhood and is generally asymptomatic, though the virus can cause infectious mononucleosis in 35–50% of the cases when infection occurs later in life. EBV infects mainly B-cells and epithelial cells, establishing latency in resting memory B-cells and possibly also in epithelial cells. EBV is recognized as an oncogenic virus but in immunocompetent hosts, EBV reactivation is controlled by the immune response preventing transformation in vivo. Under immunosuppression, regardless of the cause, the immune system can lose control of EBV replication, which may result in the appearance of neoplasms. The primary malignancies related to EBV are B-cell lymphomas and nasopharyngeal carcinoma, which reflects the primary cell targets of viral infection in vivo. Although a number of antivirals were proven to inhibit EBV replication in vitro, they had limited success in the clinic and to date no antiviral drug has been approved for the treatment of EBV infections. We review here the antiviral drugs that have been evaluated in the clinic to treat EBV infections and discuss novel molecules with anti-EBV activity under investigation as well as new strategies to treat EBV-related diseases. View Full-Text
Keywords: Epstein–Barr virus; antivirals; nucleoside analogues; nucleotide analogues; cellular targets Epstein–Barr virus; antivirals; nucleoside analogues; nucleotide analogues; cellular targets
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Andrei, G.; Trompet, E.; Snoeck, R. Novel Therapeutics for Epstein–Barr Virus. Molecules 2019, 24, 997.

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