Antiviral and vaccine strategies against cytomegalovirus: Current therapies and future directions Chapter uri icon

abstract

  • Cytomegalovirus (CMV) establishes a life long infection in their human host. In healthy individuals this is largely an asymptomatic latent infection. However, in immunosuppressed individuals a primary infection, viral reactivation, or secondary infection can lead to life threatening disease. Vulnerable populations include transplant or AIDS patients and the developing fetus in utero. Congenital CMV infection, where the virus crosses the placenta and infects the fetus in utero, can lead to long term developmental problems in surviving newborns, including mental retardation and deafness. Development of a vaccine for women of child-bearing age is a major public health priority because of the risk of congenital infection. Although various vaccine strategies against CMV have been in development for a number of years there is no current licensed vaccine. Consequently, the most effective way to control infection is by antiviral therapy. Current antivirals suffer from complications associated with prolonged treatment which include drug toxicity as well as the emergence of resistant viral strains. Antiviral therapy is not used to treat congenital infection because of the risk to the fetus from drug toxicity and side effects. There is an obvious need for the development of new antivirals as well as an effective vaccine against CMV. This article explores the status of CMV intervention strategies currently available or under development. © 2012 by Nova Science Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.

author list (cited authors)

  • McGregor, A., Yeon Choi, K., & Sung, H.

Book Title

  • Cytomegalovirus Infections: Risk Factors, Causes and Management

publication date

  • December 2012