Acyclovir: The Past Ten Years

  • Richard J. Whitley
  • Mark Middlebrooks
  • John W. GnannJr.
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 278)


Compared to the remarkable progress made in the treatment of bacterial infections over the past four decades, advances in the chemotherapy of viral diseases have proceeded at a much slower pace. In the United States, only a few antiviral agents of proven clinical value are currently available for a limited number of indications. Initial success was achieved with vidarabine therapy of severe and life-threatening herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections—specifically, herpes simplex encephalitis (HSE) and neonatal HSV infections. Subsequently, acyclovir has become the standard therapeutic agent for life-threatening HSV and varicella-zoster virus (VZV) infections in both normal and immunocompromised hosts. The success of this compound has been nothing short of remarkable. Nevertheless, the recent problems encountered with viral resistance to acyclovir in severely immunocompromised patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection demonstrates the necessity for the development of newer antiviral agents that are active against HSVs. This article will review the advances made over the past decade in the management of HSV and VZV infections with acyclovir.


Herpes Simplex Virus Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Herpes Zoster Thymidine Kinase Postherpetic Neuralgia 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard J. Whitley
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mark Middlebrooks
    • 1
    • 2
  • John W. GnannJr.
    • 2
  1. 1.Departments of PediatricsUniversity of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA
  2. 2.Departments of MedicineUniversity of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA

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