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Clin Microbiol Rev. 2003 Jan;16(1):114-28.

Herpes simplex virus resistance to acyclovir and penciclovir after two decades of antiviral therapy.

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GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare, Weybridge, Surrey KT15 0DE, United Kingdom.


Acyclovir, penciclovir, and their prodrugs have been widely used during the past two decades for the treatment of herpesvirus infections. In spite of the distribution of over 2.3 x 10(6) kg of these nucleoside analogues, the prevalence of acyclovir resistance in herpes simplex virus isolates from immunocompetent hosts has remained stable at approximately 0.3%. In immuncompromised patients, in whom the risk for developing resistance is much greater, the prevalence of resistant virus has also remained stable but at a higher level, typically 4 to 7%. These observations are examined in the light of characteristics of the virus, the drugs, and host factors.

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