Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is the cause of infectious mononucleosis and is associated with three human malignancies. Acyclovir [9-(2-hydroxyethoxymethyl)guanine], the first clinically useful drug effective against replication of EBV, is without effect against latent or persistent EBV infection. Three nucleoside analogs, E-5-(2-bromovinyl)-2'-deoxyuridine, 1-(2-deoxy-2-fluoro-beta-D-arabinofuranosyl)-5-iodocytosine, and 1-(2-deoxy-2-fluoro-beta-D-arabinofuranosyl)-5-methyluracil are potent inhibitors of EBV replication in vitro. Moreover, in contrast to the reversibility of viral inhibition by Acyclovir, these three drugs have prolonged effects in suppressing viral replication even after the drugs are removed from persistently infected cell cultures.

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