Current advances in anti-influenza therapy

R. Saladino, M. Barontini, M. Crucianelli, L. Nencioni, R. Sgarbanti, A. T. Palamara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Every year, influenza epidemics cause numerous deaths and millions of hospitalizations, but the most frightening effects are seen when new strains of the virus emerge from different species (e.g. the swine-origin influenza A/H1N1 virus), causing world-wide outbreaks of infection. Several antiviral compounds have been developed against influenza virus to interfere with specific events in the replication cycle. Among them, the inhibitors of viral uncoating (amantadine), nucleoside inhibitors (ribavirin), viral transcription and neuraminidase inhibitors (zanamivir and oseltamivir) are reported as examples of traditional virus-based antiviral strategies. However, for most of them the efficacy is often limited by toxicity and the almost inevitable selection of drug-resistant viral mutants. Thus, the discovery of novel anti-influenza drugs that target general cell signaling pathways essential for viral replication, irrespective to the specific origin of the virus, would decrease the emergence of drug resistance and increase the effectiveness towards different strains of influenza virus. In this context, virus-activated intracellular cascades, finely regulated by small changes in the intracellular redox state, can contribute to inhibit influenza virus replication and pathogenesis of virus-induced disease. This novel therapeutic approach involves advanced cell-based antiviral strategies. In this review current advances in the anti-influenza therapy for both traditional virus-based antiviral strategies as well as for alternative cell-based antiviral strategies are described focusing on the last 10 years. Anti-influenza compounds are classified on the basis of their chemical structure with a special attention to describe their synthetic pathways and the corresponding structure activity relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2101-2140
Number of pages40
JournalCurrent Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Antiviral compounds
  • Biological activity
  • Influenza therapy
  • Synthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Medicine(all)


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