Current options for influenza antiviral therapy are limited to the neuraminidase inhibitors, and knowledge that high levels of oseltamivir resistance have been seen among previously circulating H1N1 viruses increases the urgency to find new influenza therapeutics. To feed this pipeline, assays that are appropriate for use in high-throughput screens are being developed and are discussed in this review. Particular emphasis is placed on cell-based assays that capture both inhibitors of viral functions as well as the host functions that facilitate optimal influenza virus replication. Success in this area has been fueled by a greater understanding of the genome structure of influenza viruses and the ability to generate replication-competent recombinant viruses that carry a reporter gene, allowing for easy monitoring of viral infection in a high-throughput setting. This article forms part of a symposium in Antiviral Research on "Treatment of influenza: targeting the virus or the host."
Keywords: Antiviral drug; Cell-based assay; High-throughput screen; Influenza virus; Multi-cycle virus replication.
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