Antiviral Drugs Against Alphaherpesvirus

  • Kimiyasu ShirakiEmail author
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1045)


The discovery of acyclovir and penciclovir has led to the development of a successful systemic therapy for treating herpes simplex virus infection and varicella-zoster virus infection, and the orally available prodrugs, valacyclovir and famciclovir, have improved antiviral treatment compliance. Acyclovir and penciclovir are phosphorylated by viral thymidine kinase and are incorporated into the DNA chain by viral DNA polymerase, resulting in chain termination. Helicase-primase plays an initial step in DNA synthesis to separate the double strand into two single strands (replication fork) and is a new target of antiviral therapy. The helicase-primase inhibitors (HPIs) pritelivir and amenamevir have novel mechanisms of action, drug resistance properties, pharmacokinetic characteristics, and clinical efficacy for treating genital herpes. The clinical study of amenamevir in herpes zoster has been completed, and amenamevir has been submitted for approval for treating herpes zoster in Japan. The clinical use of HPIs will be the beginning of a new era of anti-herpes therapy.


Acyclovir Prodrug Valacyclovir Famciclovir Antivirals Helicase-primase Amenamevir Chain termination Resistance 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of VirologyUniversity of ToyamaToyamaJapan

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