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J Invest Dermatol. 2009 Nov;129(11):2668-75. doi: 10.1038/jid.2009.120. Epub 2009 Jun 11.

Ceragenins: a class of antiviral compounds to treat orthopox infections.

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Division of Allergy and Immunology, Department of Pediatrics, National Jewish Health, Denver, Colorado 80206, USA.


Eczema vaccinatum is a potentially fatal, disseminated viral skin infection that develops in individuals with atopic dermatitis after exposure to the vaccinia virus (VV). Despite advances in modern medicine, there are few options for those suffering from disseminated VV infections. Ceragenins (CSAs) are synthetic antimicrobial compounds designed to mimic the structure and function of endogenous antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). We show that CSA-13 exhibits potent antiviral activity against VV by (1) direct antiviral effects against VV; and (2) stimulating the expression of endogenous AMPs with known antiviral activity against VV. In addition, we show that a topical application of CSA-13 penetrates the skin and reduces subsequent satellite lesion formation. This suggests that treatment with CSA-13 may be an intervention for individuals with a disseminated VV skin infection.

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