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Emerging Trends, Challenges and Prospects in Antiviral Therapeutics and Drug Development for Infectious Diseases

Infectious diseases are well known since ancient time to human civilization. Different microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, viruses) cause infectious diseases. Among all the microorganisms, viruses are the most notorious. Viruses are ultra microscopic obligate intracellular parasites, which have either DNA or RNA as genetic material, known to cause different types of diseases in humans, animal and plants. The battle between the viruses and the humans is continuous process, as both will adopt different strategies to combat against each other. Development of antiviral drugs is very tedious process as it involves many stages like, target identification and screening, lead generation and optimization, pre-clinical and clinical studies, final registration of the drug etc. Inspite of modern tools and stringent quality control measures only a few antiviral drugs are getting approved for human use. The reason may be either side effects or the antiviral drug resistance. Increasing knowledge about viruses, mechanism of their infections and the rapid evolvement of novel antiviral strategies and techniques will speed up the development of novel antiviral drugs. This review is focused on global view of drug discovery for infectious diseases including strategies, current advanced techniques and tools, major landmarks and limitations of the antiviral drug development in last five decades.

Author(s): Shailendra K. Saxena, Shailja Saxena, Rakhi Saxena, ML Arvinda Swamy, Ankur Gupta, Madhavan P.N. Nair

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