Current epidemics, such as AIDS or flu, and the emergence of new threatening pathogens, such as the one causing the current coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, represent major global health challenges. While vaccination is an important part of the arsenal to counter the spread of viral diseases, it presents limitations and needs to be complemented by efficient therapeutic solutions. Intricate knowledge of host-pathogen interactions is a powerful tool to identify host-dependent vulnerabilities that can be exploited to dampen viral replication. Such host-directed antiviral therapies are promising and are less prone to the development of drug-resistant viral strains. Here, we first describe proteomics-based strategies that allow the rapid characterization of host-pathogen interactions. We then discuss how such data can be exploited to help prioritize compounds with potential host-directed antiviral activity that can be tested in preclinical models.
Keywords: drug repurposing; host-directed therapies; host-pathogen interactions; proteomics; systems biology.