Nucleoside analogues for the treatment of coronavirus infections

Curr Opin Virol. 2019 Apr:35:57-62. doi: 10.1016/j.coviro.2019.04.002. Epub 2019 May 21.


Recent outbreaks of SARS-Coronavirus and MERS-Coronavirus (CoV) have heightened awareness about the lack of vaccines or antiviral compounds approved for prevention or treatment of human or potential zoonotic CoVs. Anti-CoV drug development has long been challenged by the activity of a 3' to 5' proofreading exoribonuclease unique to CoVs. Recently, a promising nucleoside analogue with broad-spectrum activity against CoVs has been identified. This review will discuss progress made in the development of antiviral nucleoside and nucleotide analogues targeting viral RNA synthesis as effective therapeutics against CoV infections and propose promising strategies for combination therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology*
  • Coronavirus / drug effects*
  • Coronavirus Infections / drug therapy*
  • Coronavirus Infections / virology
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Exoribonucleases / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus / drug effects
  • Nucleosides / analogs & derivatives*
  • Nucleosides / pharmacology*
  • Severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus / drug effects
  • Virus Replication / drug effects


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Nucleosides
  • Exoribonucleases
  • 5'-exoribonuclease