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Ann Intern Med. 1995 Sep 1;123(5):368-82.

Antiviral therapy for human papillomaviruses: rational and prospects.

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Burroughs Wellcome Co., Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA.



To review the basic virology of human papillomavirus (HPV) and the natural history of HPV infection and to discuss current and potential therapies.


The MEDLINE database (1966 to 1994) was searched to identify English-language articles and abstracts on HPV biology and antiviral chemotherapy.


Peer-reviewed basic science and clinical research studies on the molecular, cellular, and human biology of HPV infection.


Summaries of data from research studies on the biology of papillomavirus infection and information from review articles on the basic and applied pharmacology of antiviral agents.


Papillomavirus infections are very common. Human papillomavirus infections may be asymptomatic or may be manifested in various benign or malignant lesions, most notably anogenital condyloma and anogenital carcinoma. Currently, therapeutic options for HPV infection are limited, expensive, and often ineffective. By understanding the basic virology and natural history of HPV infection, potential sites for pharmacologic intervention can be identified. Although currently available antiviral compounds are inactive against HPV, they serve as models for the rational design of HPV antiviral drugs.


Although HPV infection causes substantial morbidity and expense, uniformly effective therapy for HPV infection is not currently available. Several processes in the HPV infection cycle are appropriate targets for the development of antiviral agents. The development of compounds active against HPV could prevent the benign and malignant diseases associated with HPV infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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