Associate Professor, Dept of Medical Biosciences, University of the Western Cape, SOUTH AFRICA
Discovery of Broad-spectrum Antivirals for Respiratory Viruses
Host: G. Schäfer
The majority of antiviral drugs on the market target components of a specific virus. Asaconsequence,theycanonlybeusedfortreatmentofoneparticular viral infection. Moreover, the development of drug resistance is a common occurrence, especially for RNA viruses. We are exploring the potential for developing antiviral drugs with broad-spectrum activity, and a high barrier to resistance. To achieve this, we are identifying antiviral compounds that target host factors whose function plays a critical role in the virus life cycle. In many cases, this function is required by unrelated viruses, which imparts broad-spectrum antiviral activity on the inhibitory compound. I will describe our work to identify and characterise such compounds using cell-based high throughput screens.
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