Access to an array of cytokines and synthetic immunomodulators represents a significant milestone in the development of effective therapies for infectious diseases. Several recombinant human cytokines, including interferons and colony-stimulating factors, are licensed and being widely used in clinical practice in patients. The identification of the essential role of coreceptors for the entry of HIV into the host cell has focused attention on chemokines as important targets for pharmacological intervention and several new compounds possessing therapeutic potential as inhibitors of chemokine receptors have been advocated. Diverse combinations with pegylated interferons and other cytokines for the treatment of various viral infections, including hepatitis B and C, have been proposed. Significant advances have been achieved on compounds exhibiting cytokine inhibitory properties of value for new treatments of infectious and inflammatory diseases. Important developments and current trends in cytokine biology and therapy are highlighted in this review. Novel strategies based on the engineering of cytokines and inhibitors are poised to revolutionize therapeutic options in the coming decades.
Keywords: Chemokines, chemokine inhibitors, interferons, cytokines, cytokine inhibitors, immunomodulators, HIV, hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus
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