Pharmacological intervention for dengue virus infection

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Graphical abstractDengue virus (DENV) infection has a considerable health impact in tropical and subtropical countries worldwide. Escalation of infection rates greatly increases morbidity and mortality, most commonly from deaths due to dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome. Although the development of an effective, long-lasting vaccine has been a major aim for control and prevention of DENV infection, the currently licensed vaccine has limitations and is less than satisfactory. Thus, there remains an important need to identify effective and tolerable medications for treatment of DENV-infected patients both in the early phase, to prevent progression to fatal outcomes, and to minimize deaths after patients develop severe complications. This review will address several specific points, including (1) approaches to identify anti-DENV medications, (2) recent advances in the development of potential compounds targeting DENV infection, (3) experience with clinical trials of regimens for DENV infection, (4) some available medications of potential for clinical trials against DENV infection, (5) reasons for unsuccessful outcomes and challenges of anti-DENV treatments, and (6) directions for developing or selecting better anti-DENV strategies. This review provides useful guidance for clinicians selecting drugs for DENV-infected patients with severe manifestations or potential fatal disease progression, and for basic researchers seeking to develop effective anti-DENV regimens.

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