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Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2009 Feb;10(2):191-209. doi: 10.1517/14656560802678138 .

Antiviral treatment of cytomegalovirus infection and resistant strains.

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Universitätsklinikum Ulm, Institut für Virologie, Albert-Einstein Allee 11, 89081 Ulm, Germany.


This review discusses the management of resistant cytomegalovirus and prevention strategies for fatal therapy failures. Five drugs, ganciclovir/valganciclovir, cidofovir, foscarnet and fomivirsen, have been approved so far for the treatment of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) diseases. Except for fomivirsen, all of the approved drugs share the same target molecule, the viral DNA polymerase. The emergence of drug-resistant HCMV has also been reported for all of them. For optimal care of patients, the clinical virologist has to provide the most meaningful assays for monitoring of therapy and early detection of emerging drug-resistant HCMV. Additionally, a quantitative drug monitoring would be helpful. New antiviral agents are urgently needed with less adverse effects, good oral bioavailability and possibly novel targets or mechanisms of action to avoid cross-resistance and to improve the ability to suppress the selection of resistant virus strains by combination therapy. Compounds like maribavir, leflunomide and artesunate, which exhibit anti-HCMV activity in vitro and in patients need to be evaluated in clinical studies. Besides these, new therapy approaches like immunotherapy or new diagnostic techniques like pyrosequencing have to be considered in the future.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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