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Ther Adv Infect Dis. 2017 Jul;4(4):105-131. doi: 10.1177/2049936117713593. Epub 2017 Jul 5.

The role of nanotechnology in the treatment of viral infections.

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Department of Virology, National Health Laboratory Service, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa.
Catalysis and Peptide Research Unit, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa.


Infectious diseases are the leading cause of mortality worldwide, with viruses in particular making global impact on healthcare and socioeconomic development. In addition, the rapid development of drug resistance to currently available therapies and adverse side effects due to prolonged use is a serious public health concern. The development of novel treatment strategies is therefore required. The interaction of nanostructures with microorganisms is fast-revolutionizing the biomedical field by offering advantages in both diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Nanoparticles offer unique physical properties that have associated benefits for drug delivery. These are predominantly due to the particle size (which affects bioavailability and circulation time), large surface area to volume ratio (enhanced solubility compared to larger particles), tunable surface charge of the particle with the possibility of encapsulation, and large drug payloads that can be accommodated. These properties, which are unlike bulk materials of the same compositions, make nanoparticulate drug delivery systems ideal candidates to explore in order to achieve and/or improve therapeutic effects. This review presents a broad overview of the application of nanosized materials for the treatment of common viral infections.


HIV; advances; hepatitis; influenza; nanotechnology; vaccine; virus

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Conflict of interest statement: The author(s) declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

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