Antivirals against enteroviruses: a critical review from a public-health perspective

KSM Benschop, HGAM van der Avoort, E Duizer, Marion Koopmans

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24 Citations (Scopus)


The enteroviruses (EVs) of the Picornaviridae family are the most common viral pathogens known. Most EV infections are mild and self-limiting but manifestations can be severe in children and immunodeficient individuals. Antiviral development is actively pursued to benefit these high-risk patients and, given the alarming problem of antimicrobial drug resistance, antiviral drug resistance is a public-health concern. Picornavirus antivirals can be used off-label or as part of outbreak control measures. They may be used in the final stages of poliovirus eradication and to mitigate EV-A71 outbreaks. We review the potential emergence of drug-resistant strains and their impact on EV transmission and endemic circulation. We include non-picornavirus antivirals that inhibit EV replication, for example, ribavirin, a treatment for infection with HCV, and amantadine, a treatment for influenza A. They may have spurred resistance emergence in HCV or influenza A patients who are unknowingly coinfected with EV. The public-health challenge is always to find a balance between individual benefit and the long-term health of the larger population.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)121-130
Number of pages10
JournalAntiviral Therapy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Research programs

  • EMC MM-04-27-01

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