Chemotherapy for 'Exotic' RNA Viruses
ARMY MEDICAL RESEARCH INST OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES FORT DETRICK MD
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In-vitro screening programmes have identified a number of compounds with broad-spectrum antiviraloactivity against Exotic RNA viruses. Among these, ribavirin has been the most extensively evaluated in man and experimental animals. Passive immunization, with convalescent plasma or immunoglobin preparations, is routinely employed for both prophylaxis and treatment of many viral diseases. For treatment of some of the more exotic viral infections, this approach has had variable success. Interest in combination chemotherapy also has recently increased. Combinations of ribavirin and arabinofuranosyladenine ara- A exhibit significant synergy against types types 1 and 2 herpes viruses, while ribavirin in combination with amantadine is more effective against influenza infection is tissue culture as well as mice. The number of natural products which nonspecifically activate macrophages, resulting in enhanced host resistance to viral infections, is growing. The progress made to date in the development of drugs, biological response modifiers including interferons, combination chemotherapy and drug delivery promises that effective treatments will be forthcoming and assures a place for chemotherapy in the treatment of life threatening viral diseases.