Options in the fight against viruses

February 21, 2005

Stephen Tyring, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., professor, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, presented a talk on the newest advances in antiviral therapy, yesterday. He said, overall, that physicians now have an increase of knowledge pertaining to the diagnosis and management strategies for the herpes virus family, the pox viruses, mumps, measles, rubella, parvovirus B 19 and retroviruses as well as the viral etiologies of hepatitis.

Stephen Tyring, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., professor, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, presented a talk on the newest advances in antiviral therapy, yesterday. He said, overall, that physicians now have an increase of knowledge pertaining to the diagnosis and management strategies for the herpes virus family, the pox viruses, mumps, measles, rubella, parvovirus B 19 and retroviruses as well as the viral etiologies of hepatitis.

Antiviral treatments he discussed which reduce the signs and symptoms of common viral infections include nucleoside analogs, nucleotide analogs, imiquimod, interferon, protease inhibitors and fusion inhibitors.

More specifically, he summarized the preferred treatment strategies to be employed for each of the viruses for reducing severity, duration, recurrences (notably in the herpes family), transmission rates, as well as preventive alternatives.

Knowledge of the natural history drive treatment decisions, often tailored to incorporate clinical circumstances for individual patients, Dr. Tyring said. He spoke of the importance of promoting community awareness and of developing new vaccines.

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