Broad-spectrum antiviral drug

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Broad-spectrum antiviral drugs (BSA) are a class of antiviral drugs, which target and inhibit the replication and development of a broad range of viral pathogens. BSAs work by inhibiting viral proteins (such as polymerases, proteases, or reverse transcriptases) or by targeting host cell proteins and processes exploited by the virus during infection.[1]

Many BSAs are found showing efficacy against a given virus outside their original indication, showing antiviral activity against other viruses than originally investigated (such as remdesivir and ritonavir/lopinavir) or outside their original therapeutic indications, for example, antibacterials, like azithromycin,[2][3][4] antihelminthics, like niclosamide,[5][6] and antiprotozoals, like emetine.[5][7] This makes BSAs potential candidates for drug repurposing.[8] Repurposing of BSAs will allow for quicker, cheaper and more efficient development of antivirals than de novo drug development.[9]

BSAs are potential candidates for treatment of medically important and emerging viruses, such as influenzas, HIV, filoviruses, such as ebola and marburg viruses, and the coronaviruses, SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV and more recently SARS-CoV-2.[8][9] Efforts in drug repurposing for SARS-CoV-2 is currently underway.

List of currently known broad-spectrum antivirals[edit]

There are currently 120 known BSA candidates in varying stages of development, effective against 78 human viruses:[10]


  1. ^ Bekerman E, Einav S (April 2015). "Infectious disease. Combating emerging viral threats". Science. 348 (6232): 282–3. doi:10.1126/science.aaa3778. PMC 4419706. PMID 25883340.
  2. ^ Menzel, Mandy; Akbarshahi, Hamid; Bjermer, Leif; Uller, Lena (September 2016). "Azithromycin induces anti-viral effects in cultured bronchial epithelial cells from COPD patients". Scientific Reports. 6 (1): 28698. Bibcode:2016NatSR...628698M. doi:10.1038/srep28698. ISSN 2045-2322. PMC 4923851. PMID 27350308.
  3. ^ Tran, Dat Huu; Sugamata, Ryuichi; Hirose, Tomoyasu; Suzuki, Shoichi; Noguchi, Yoshihiko; Sugawara, Akihiro; Ito, Fuyu; Yamamoto, Tomoko; Kawachi, Shoji; Akagawa, Kiyoko S.; Ōmura, Satoshi (October 2019). "Azithromycin, a 15-membered macrolide antibiotic, inhibits influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 virus infection by interfering with virus internalization process". The Journal of Antibiotics. 72 (10): 759–768. doi:10.1038/s41429-019-0204-x. ISSN 0021-8820. PMID 31300721.
  4. ^ Li, Chunfeng; Zu, Shulong; Deng, Yong-Qiang; Li, Dapei; Parvatiyar, Kislay; Quanquin, Natalie; Shang, Jingzhe; Sun, Nina; Su, Jiaqi; Liu, Zhenyang; Wang, Min (2019-09-16). "Azithromycin Protects against Zika Virus Infection by Upregulating Virus-Induced Type I and III Interferon Responses". Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. 63 (12): e00394–19, /aac/63/12/AAC.00394–19.atom. doi:10.1128/AAC.00394-19. ISSN 0066-4804. PMC 6879226. PMID 31527024.
  5. ^ a b Andersen; Krpina; Ianevski; Shtaida; Jo; Yang; Koit; Tenson; Hukkanen; Anthonsen; Bjoras (2019-10-18). "Novel Antiviral Activities of Obatoclax, Emetine, Niclosamide, Brequinar, and Homoharringtonine". Viruses. 11 (10): 964. doi:10.3390/v11100964. ISSN 1999-4915. PMC 6832696. PMID 31635418.
  6. ^ Kadri, Hachemi; Lambourne, Olivia A.; Mehellou, Youcef (2018-06-06). "Niclosamide, a Drug with Many (Re)purposes". ChemMedChem. 13 (11): 1088–1091. doi:10.1002/cmdc.201800100. PMC 7162286. PMID 29603892.
  7. ^ Khandelwal, Nitin; Chander, Yogesh; Rawat, Krishan Dutt; Riyesh, Thachamvally; Nishanth, Chikkahonnaiah; Sharma, Shalini; Jindal, Naresh; Tripathi, Bhupendra N.; Barua, Sanjay; Kumar, Naveen (August 2017). "Emetine inhibits replication of RNA and DNA viruses without generating drug-resistant virus variants". Antiviral Research. 144: 196–204. doi:10.1016/j.antiviral.2017.06.006. PMID 28624461.
  8. ^ a b García-Serradilla M, Risco C, Pacheco B (April 2019). "Drug repurposing for new, efficient, broad spectrum antivirals". Virus Research. 264: 22–31. doi:10.1016/j.virusres.2019.02.011. PMC 7114681. PMID 30794895.
  9. ^ a b Andersen PI, Ianevski A, Lysvand H, Vitkauskiene A, Oksenych V, Bjørås M, et al. (February 2020). "Discovery and development of safe-in-man broad-spectrum antiviral agents". International Journal of Infectious Diseases. 93: 268–276. doi:10.1016/j.ijid.2020.02.018. PMC 7128205. PMID 32081774.
  10. ^ "". Retrieved 2020-03-28.