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PRINCIPLES OF ANTIVIRAL THERAPY

Compared with the number of drugs available to treat bacterial infections, the number of antiviral drugs is very small. The major reason for this difference is the difficulty in obtaining selective toxicity against viruses; their replication is intimately involved with the normal synthetic processes of the cell. Despite the difficulty, several virus-specific replication steps have been identified that are the site of action of effective antiviral drugs (Table 35–1). Table 35–2 describes the mode of action of antiviral drugs that block early events in viral replication, and Table 35–3 describes the mode of action of antiviral drugs that block viral nucleic acid synthesis. Figure 35–1 shows the replication of a model virus and the site of action of drugs used to treat various viral infections. Figure 35–2 shows the replication of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the site of action of drugs used to treat HIV infection.

TABLE 35–1Stage of Viral Replication Inhibited by Antiviral Drugs
TABLE 35–2Antiviral Drugs That Block Early Events
TABLE 35–3Antiviral Drugs That Block Viral Nucleic Acid Synthesis

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