Our recent efforts have been directed at the development of selective inhibitors of different classes of viruses, including adeno, pox, and herpesviruses [herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and type 2 (HSV-2), varicella-zoster (VZV), cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)], (+/-)RNA viruses (reo- and rotavirus), (-)RNA viruses (influenza, parainfluenza, measles, respiratory syncytial, vesicular stomatitis and rabies virus) and retroviruses [i.e. human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the causative agent of AIDS]. In this search, the following molecular targets were envisaged: for DNA viruses in general, the viral DNA polymerase; for herpes simplex virus and varicella-zoster virus, the viral DNA polymerase via a specific phosphorylation by the viral 2'-deoxythymidine (dThd) kinase; for (+/-)RNA and (-)RNA viruses, S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH) hydrolase, a key enzyme in transmethylation reactions required for the maturation of viral mRNA; for retroviruses, reverse transcriptase as initiator of virus replication and/or cell transformation; and for several enveloped viruses (i.e. retro-, herpes- and rhabdoviruses), virus adsorption to the outer cell membrane. Several new compounds have been developed that appear to act at these targets: i.e. (E)-5-(2-bromovinyl)-2'-deoxyuridine [bromovinyldeoxyuridine (BVDU)] and derivatives thereof [i.e. carbocyclic BVDU (C-BVDU)] as well as derivatives of acyclovir (i.e. 8-substituted acyclovir derivatives) as inhibitors of herpesviruses; (S)-9-(3-hydroxy-2-phosphonylmethoxypropyl)adenine [(S)-HPMPA], 9-(2-phosphonylmethoxyethyl)adenine (PMEA) and other phosphonylmethoxyalkylpurines and -pyrimidines as inhibitors of DNA viruses and retroviruses; acyclic and carbocyclic analogues of adenosine [such as (S)-9-(2,3-dihydroxypropyl)adenine [S)-DHPA), carbocyclic 3-deazaadenosine (C-c3Ado), (RS)-3-adenin-9-yl-2-hydroxypropanoic acid (AHPA) alkyl esters, neplanocin A, 3-deazaneplanocin A and the 5'-nor derivatives of neplanocin A and 3-deazaneplanocin A] as inhibitors of (+/-)RNA and (-)RNA viruses; 2',3'-dideoxynucleoside analogues as inhibitors of retroviruses; and sulfated polysaccharides (i.e. heparin, dextran sulfate, pentosan polysulfate, mannan sulfate), sulfated polyvinylalcohol and co-polymers of sulfated polyvinylalcohol with acrylic acid as inhibitors of retro-, herpes- and rhabdoviruses.