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Chapter 11 : Antiviral, Antifungal, and Antiprotozoal Compounds

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Antiviral, Antifungal, and Antiprotozoal Compounds, Page 1 of 2

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Abstract:

This chapter provides a few examples of antiviral, antifungal, and antiprotozoal compounds, including examples in which antibiotics are actually used to treat infections that are caused by protozoa rather than bacteria. Scientists who develop antiviral compounds face a daunting challenge. Viruses are not free-living microbes. They are the ultimate freeloaders. They inject their genomes into mammalian cells and then highjack mammalian cell biosynthetic machinery and use it to make more viruses. Amantadine has been reserved for high risk patients because influenza viruses can become resistant to it. The viral reverse transcriptase has a far higher affinity for AZT than human enzymes that synthesize DNA. This is the reason that AZT does not kill human cells, as would happen if AZT also terminated the synthesis of DNA in the human cells. Something approaching a broad-spectrum antifungal compound is possible because many fungi have their own form of cholesterol, called ergosterol. Infections caused by (candidiasis) can range from minor skin infections (cradle cap) to vaginitis (vaginal itching and discharge) to life-threatening systemic infections in immunocompromised people. Antiprotozoal drugs, like antiviral drugs, tend to have a narrow spectrum. That is, the drug that is effective in treating one type of protozoal disease does not work on other types of protozoa. Chloroquine, quinacrine, and primaquine are commonly used antimalarial drugs. The antibiotic metronidazole is also used to treat infections and infections caused by some other protozoa.

Citation: Salyers A, Whitt D. 2005. Antiviral, Antifungal, and Antiprotozoal Compounds, p 137-149. In Revenge of the Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817602.ch11

Key Concept Ranking

Viral Life Cycle
0.51736385
Antibacterial Agents
0.42932403
0.51736385
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Figures

Image of Figure 11.1
Figure 11.1

Generalized viral life cycle. The virus first binds to the surface of the host cell. It is then internalized. During this process the virus sheds its coat, thus releasing its genome. The genome then typically enters the nucleus, where it is copied. Viral proteins are synthesized in the cytoplasm. The newly synthesized proteins and viral genomes are assembled into new viral particles that are released from the cell.

Citation: Salyers A, Whitt D. 2005. Antiviral, Antifungal, and Antiprotozoal Compounds, p 137-149. In Revenge of the Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817602.ch11
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Image of Figure 11.2
Figure 11.2

Mechanism of action of acyclovir. Acyclovir can be incorporated into viral DNA only if it is activated. The virus has an enzyme that activates acyclovir, but the human cell does not. Thus, activation occurs only when the virus is present in the cell.

Citation: Salyers A, Whitt D. 2005. Antiviral, Antifungal, and Antiprotozoal Compounds, p 137-149. In Revenge of the Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817602.ch11
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Image of Figure 11.3
Figure 11.3

The two forms of . The trophozoite is the actively replicating form found in the intestine. The cyst is the form that survives in the external environment.

Citation: Salyers A, Whitt D. 2005. Antiviral, Antifungal, and Antiprotozoal Compounds, p 137-149. In Revenge of the Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555817602.ch11
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References

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