Metabolic Modifications by Common Respiratory Viruses and Their Potential as New Antiviral Targets

Viruses. 2021 Oct 14;13(10):2068. doi: 10.3390/v13102068.


Respiratory viruses are known to be the most frequent causative mediators of lung infections in humans, bearing significant impact on the host cell signaling machinery due to their host-dependency for efficient replication. Certain cellular functions are actively induced by respiratory viruses for their own benefit. This includes metabolic pathways such as glycolysis, fatty acid synthesis (FAS) and the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, among others, which are modified during viral infections. Here, we summarize the current knowledge of metabolic pathway modifications mediated by the acute respiratory viruses respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), rhinovirus (RV), influenza virus (IV), parainfluenza virus (PIV), coronavirus (CoV) and adenovirus (AdV), and highlight potential targets and compounds for therapeutic approaches.

Keywords: host targeted antivirals; metabolism; respiratory viruses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviridae / metabolism
  • Citric Acid Cycle / physiology*
  • Coronavirus / metabolism
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Fatty Acids / biosynthesis*
  • Glycolysis / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Orthomyxoviridae / metabolism
  • Parainfluenza Virus 1, Human / metabolism
  • Respiratory Syncytial Viruses / metabolism
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / pathology*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / virology*
  • Rhinovirus / metabolism


  • Fatty Acids