Alphaviruses are members of the Togaviridae
family that are mainly transmitted by arthropods such as mosquitoes. In the last decades, several alphaviruses have re-emerged, causing outbreaks worldwide. One example is the re-emergence of chikungunya virus (CHIKV) in 2004, which caused massive epidemics in the Indian Ocean region after which the virus dramatically spread to the Americas in late 2013. Besides CHIKV, other alphaviruses, such as the Ross River virus (RRV), Mayaro virus (MAYV), and Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV), have emerged and have become a serious public health concern in recent years. Infections with the Old World alphaviruses (e.g., CHIKV, RRV) are primarily associated with polyarthritis and myalgia that can persist for months to years. On the other hand, New World alphaviruses such as VEEV cause mainly neurological disease. Despite the worldwide (re-)emergence of these viruses, there are no antivirals or vaccines available for the treatment or prevention of infections with alphaviruses. It is therefore of utmost importance to develop antiviral strategies against these viruses. We here provided an overview of the reported antiviral strategies against arthritogenic alphaviruses. In addition, we highlighted the future perspectives for the development and the proper use of such antivirals.
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