Antiviral chemotherapy and chemoprophylaxis

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Science  15 Mar 1985:
Vol. 227, Issue 4692, pp. 1296-1303
DOI: 10.1126/science.2983421

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Antiviral compounds have been developed for use in chemoprophylaxis and chemotherapy of a variety of infections in humans, including those caused by influenza viruses, respiratory syncytial virus, and herpesviruses. The efficacy of several of these compounds has been demonstrated in rigorously controlled trials. Advances in molecular virology have led to the identification of biochemically defined, virus-specific functions that serve as appropriate targets for the future development of antiviral compounds. Clinical investigators and practicing physicians are now confronting questions previously raised with the use of antibacterial antibiotics. These questions concern appropriate routes of administration for antiviral compounds, optimal dosage regimens, risks of long-term prophylaxis, and the emergence of resistant organisms.