Special Issue "Advances in Anti-Influenza Therapeutics"

A special issue of Pharmaceuticals (ISSN 1424-8247).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (29 February 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Serena Massari
Guest Editor
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy
Interests: medicinal chemistry; drug discovery; small molecules; antiviral agents; protein–protein interaction inhibitors
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The influenza virus (flu) is a major cause of viral respiratory infections and is responsible for an enormous public socio-economic impact. The WHO estimates that annual influenza epidemics result in 3 to 5 million severe illnesses, approximately 300,000 to 650,000 deaths, and a large global economic impact. The high rates of morbidity and mortality caused by flu epidemics can dramatically increase during severe pandemic outbreaks.

Vaccination remains the main prophylactic strategy for controlling flu infection, but a universal flu vaccine that confers broad and long-term protection does not exist. Regarding the therapeutic armamentarium, almost 20 years from the approval of the neuraminidase (NA) inhibitors oseltamivir and zanamivir, they remain the only antiviral drugs of wide clinical use. The emergence of widespread resistance has caused M2 ion channel inhibitors to no longer be recommended, and the two recently approved NA inhibitors have important limitations. Nevertheless, during recent years, major breakthroughs have been made in the development of new anti-flu agents endowed with a different mode of action. Several agents have entered the clinical pipeline, many of which target the viral hemagglutinin and polymerase complex. Noteworthy are the compounds targeting the three subunits of the viral polymerase complex, such as the nucleoside analog favipiravir already approved in Japan, the PA endonuclease inhibitor baloxavir marboxil just approved in both Japan and the USA, and the PB2 cap-binding inhibitor pimodivir that is in late-phase clinical trials. 

To achieve a comprehensive understanding of the progress made and the current trends in the development of new anti-flu therapeutics, the journal Pharmaceuticals invites renowned experts in the field to contribute research articles or reviews. This Special Issue, entitled Advances in Anti-Influenza Therapeutics, will focus on the development of new anti-flu agents, but also on studies aimed at understanding the molecular mechanisms of flu replication that are essential in order to identify new therapeutic targets.

Dr. Serena Massari
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Pharmaceuticals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • influenza virus
  • anti-influenza agents
  • vaccines
  • drug discovery
  • drug development

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Alternative Experimental Models for Studying Influenza Proteins, Host–Virus Interactions and Anti-Influenza Drugs
Pharmaceuticals 2019, 12(4), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph12040147 - 30 Sep 2019
Ninety years after the discovery of the virus causing the influenza disease, this malady remains one of the biggest public health threats to mankind. Currently available drugs and vaccines only partially reduce deaths and hospitalizations. Some of the reasons for this disturbing situation [...] Read more.
Ninety years after the discovery of the virus causing the influenza disease, this malady remains one of the biggest public health threats to mankind. Currently available drugs and vaccines only partially reduce deaths and hospitalizations. Some of the reasons for this disturbing situation stem from the sophistication of the viral machinery, but another reason is the lack of a complete understanding of the molecular and physiological basis of viral infections and host–pathogen interactions. Even the functions of the influenza proteins, their mechanisms of action and interaction with host proteins have not been fully revealed. These questions have traditionally been studied in mammalian animal models, mainly ferrets and mice (as well as pigs and non-human primates) and in cell lines. Although obviously relevant as models to humans, these experimental systems are very complex and are not conveniently accessible to various genetic, molecular and biochemical approaches. The fact that influenza remains an unsolved problem, in combination with the limitations of the conventional experimental models, motivated increasing attempts to use the power of other models, such as low eukaryotes, including invertebrate, and primary cell cultures. In this review, we summarized the efforts to study influenza in yeast, Drosophila, zebrafish and primary human tissue cultures and the major contributions these studies have made toward a better understanding of the disease. We feel that these models are still under-utilized and we highlight the unique potential each model has for better comprehending virus–host interactions and viral protein function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Anti-Influenza Therapeutics)
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