Background: Viruses are the most devastating pathogens of almost all life forms including humans and
animals. Viruses can replicate very fast and may affect any metabolic and physiological function of the host cell.
Therefore, it has been a challenge to develop a universal and common treatment against viral pathogens, in contrast
to bacterial pathogens. Virus-host interaction is a complex phenomenon and often is virus- and host cell-specific.
Exciting new insights into the molecular pathogenesis and host-virus interactions have been gained over the past few
decades. These advances have enabled researchers to design better antiviral drugs.
Methods: The literature related to various aspects of virus-host interactions: new insights and advances in drug development
was collected from several scientific research related databases such as Science Direct, Google Scholar,
Scopus, PubMed, AGRICOLA, and Medline, etc. Total number of 319 research papers was used to compile the
information regarding drug development against viral pathogens.
Results: Clinical adequacy of antiviral drugs and their bioavailability are important parameters for effective treatment
of viral infections. The problems associated with effective delivery of a drug in a safe and desired quantity have
led to the search for (and design of) better drug delivery systems. In recent past, several new antiviral drugs have
been developed, which have high therapeutic effectiveness against life-threatening viral diseases such as HIV, hepatitis
B virus, herpes virus, dengue virus and influenza virus infections. The majority of recent advances in antiviral
drug discovery were possible due to the developments in allied fields such as in vitro virus cultivation technology,
molecular biology of viral-genome-encoded enzymes, complete-genome-sequence-based studies of viruses and identification
of suitable targets for antiviral drugs in viral genomes. Recently, several novel drug delivery approaches
including small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) have emerged to aid antiviral therapy.
Conclusion: The present review is aimed at providing an update on research and development efforts being made to
create effective antiviral chemotherapeutic agents and approaches to their delivery to appropriate targeted cells or