Coronaviruses are positive stranded RNA viruses that cause respiratory, enteric and central nervous system diseases in many species, including humans. Until recently, the relatively low burden of disease in humans caused by few of these viruses impeded the development of coronavirus specific therapeutics. However, the emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), and more recently, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), has impelled the development of such drugs. This review focuses on some newly identified SARS-CoV inhibitors, with known mechanisms of action and their potential to inhibit the novel MERS-CoV. The clinical development of optimized versions of such compounds could be beneficial for the treatment and control of SARS-CoV, the current MERS-CoV and other future SARS-like epidemics.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.