Treatment & Management
Several antiviral drugs are available for the treatment of influenza. One of the important actions of these antivirals is inhibiting the action of neuraminidase, thereby interfering with the release of progeny virions from the surface of the infected host cell. These antivirals include drugs like zanamivir, peramivir and favipiravir, which are administrated intravenously, and oseltamivir, which is administrated orally. These demonstrate efficacy against influenza viruses, with the exception of amantadine, to which H1N1 is resistant. Peramivir and oseltamivir inhibit the action of NA by binding to the active site of NA, leading to the inhibition of progeny virion production. Combination drugs have also been introduced. For example, favipiravir is administered in addition to oseltamivir and zanamivir, a drug which more efficiently inhibits the RNA polymerase present in influenza viruses. Favipiravir has a significant role in inhibiting the replication of 2009 H1N1, drug-resistant viruses and swine triple-assortment strains. Additionally, current studies have shown the role of interferon-inducible transmembrane protein family membranes 3 (IFITM3), as a potential candidate for curbing influenza infection. More than 500,000 compounds were analyzed, leading to the identification of four compounds that may prove to be quite promising novel antivirals (Figure 1) against influenza virus [Saxena SK et al., Unpublished Data].
Virus structure (outside) showing the structure of one of the anticipated antivirals against influenza virus (inside) and areas (shaded background) on the world map with pH1N1.
Adapted with permission from .
Future Virology. 2012;7(10):947-950. © 2012 Future Medicine Ltd.