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Open Access Highly Accessed Review

Strategies to develop antivirals against enterovirus 71

Rei-Lin Kuo12 and Shin-Ru Shih123*

Author Affiliations

1 Research Center for Emerging Viral Infections, Chang Gung University, 259 Wen-Hua 1st Road, Kwei-Shan, Taoyuan, Taiwan

2 Department of Medical Biotechnology and Laboratory Science, College of Medicine, Chang Gung University, Taoyuan, Taiwan

3 Institute of Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Research, National Health Research Institutes, Miaoli, Taiwan

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Virology Journal 2013, 10:28  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-10-28

Published: 22 January 2013

Abstract

Enterovirus 71 (EV71) is an important human pathogen which may cause severe neurological complications and death in children. The virus caused several outbreaks in the Asia-Pacific region during the past two decades and has been considered a significant public health problem in the post-poliovirus eradication era. Unlike poliovirus, there is no effective vaccine or approved antivirals against EV71. To explore anti-EV71 agents therefore is of vital importance. Several strategies have been employed to develop antivirals based on the molecular characteristics of the virus. Among these, some small molecules that were developed against human rhinoviruses and poliovirus are under evaluation. In this review, we discuss the recent development of such small molecules against EV71, known drug resistance and possible solutions to it, and animal models for evaluating the efficacy of these antivirals. Although further investigation is required for clinical applications of the existing candidates, the molecular mechanisms revealed for the inhibition of EV71 replication can be used for designing new molecules against this virus in the future.