Cidofovir [(S)-1-(3-hydroxy-2-phosphonylmethoxypropyl)cytosine, HPMPC] is an acyclic nucleoside analog approved since 1996 for clinical use in the treatment of cytomegalovirus (CMV) retinitis in AIDS patients. Cidofovir (CDV) has broad-spectrum activity against DNA viruses, including herpes-, adeno-, polyoma-, papilloma- and poxviruses. Among poxviruses, cidofovir has shown in vitro activity against orthopox [vaccinia, variola (smallpox), cowpox, monkeypox, camelpox, ectromelia], molluscipox [molluscum contagiosum] and parapox [orf] viruses. The anti-poxvirus activity of cidofovir in vivo has been shown in different models of infection when the compound was administered either intraperitoneal, intranasal (aerosolized) or topically. In humans, cidofovir has been successfully used for the treatment of recalcitrant molluscum contagiosum virus and orf virus in immunocompromised patients. CDV remains a reference compound against poxviruses and holds potential for the therapy and short-term prophylaxis of not only orthopox- but also parapox- and molluscipoxvirus infections.
Keywords: acyclic nucleoside analog; cidofovir; poxviruses.