Overview of antiviral and anti-inflammatory treatment for severe acute respiratory syndrome

Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2005 Apr;3(2):251-62. doi: 10.1586/14787210.3.2.251.


In 2003, an outbreak of a novel respiratory virus exploded from mainland China into an international issue, catching the world by surprise. The ensuing challenges to hospital and public health workers rose to a level never before seen in healthcare, in part due to the unknown nature of the disease, the fear of the human-to-human transmission and the significant media involvement. A new coronavirus was identified as the causative agent and named the severe acute respiratory syndrome-associated virus. A number of antiviral and anti-inflammatory treatment strategies were explored during the epidemic, with varying success. Following the epidemic, in vitro antiviral analyses of numerous compounds have been conducted. This review summarizes treatment agents assessed during and after the 2003 severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak, with the aim of guiding future decision makers should the virus return.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Drug Interactions
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Humans
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome / transmission


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antiviral Agents