Antiviral peptides as promising therapeutic drugs

  • Liana Costa Pereira Vilas Boas
  • Marcelo Lattarulo Campos
  • Rhayfa Lorrayne Araujo Berlanda
  • Natan de Carvalho Neves
  • Octávio Luiz FrancoEmail author


While scientific advances have led to large-scale production and widespread distribution of vaccines and antiviral drugs, viruses still remain a major cause of human diseases today. The ever-increasing reports of viral resistance and the emergence and re-emergence of viral epidemics pressure the health and scientific community to constantly find novel molecules with antiviral potential. This search involves numerous different approaches, and the use of antimicrobial peptides has presented itself as an interesting alternative. Even though the number of antimicrobial peptides with antiviral activity is still low, they already show immense potential to become pharmaceutically available antiviral drugs. Such peptides can originate from natural sources, such as those isolated from mammals and from animal venoms, or from artificial sources, when bioinformatics tools are used. This review aims to shed some light on antimicrobial peptides with antiviral activities against human viruses and update the data about the already well-known peptides that are still undergoing studies, emphasizing the most promising ones that may become medicines for clinical use.


Natural peptides Rational design Human diseases Human viruses Drugs 



This work was supported by fellowships from Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior, Brazil (LCPVB and RLAB), Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico, Brazil (NCN), Fundação de Amparo a Pesquisa do Distrito Federal (FAPDF), and Fundação de Apoio ao Desenvolvimento do Ensino, Ciência e Tecnologia do Estado de Mato Grosso do Sul (FUNDECT). Authors declare no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universidade de Brasília, Pós-Graduação em Patologia MolecularBrasíliaBrazil
  2. 2.Centro de Análises Bioquímicas e Proteômicas, Pós-graduação em Ciências Genômicas e BiotecnologiaUniversidade Católica de BrasíliaBrasíliaBrazil
  3. 3.S-Inova Biotech, Pós-graduação em Biotecnologia Universidade Católica Dom BoscoCampo GrandeBrazil
  4. 4.Departamento de Botânica e Ecologia, Instituto de BiociênciasUniversidade Federal de Mato GrossoCuiabáBrazil

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