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Preventing and treating secondary bacterial infections with antiviral agents

Jonathan A McCullers

Corresponding author name: Jonathan A McCullers
Corresponding author e-mail: jon.mccullers@stjude.org

Citation: Antiviral Therapy 2011; 16:123-135
doi: 10.3851/IMP1730

Date accepted: 25 August 2010
Date published online: 11 February 2011

Abstract

Bacterial super-infections contribute to the significant morbidity and mortality associated with influenza and other respiratory virus infections. There are robust animal model data, but only limited clinical information on the effectiveness of licensed antiviral agents for the treatment of bacterial complications of influenza. The association of secondary bacterial pathogens with fatal pneumonia during the recent H1N1 influenza pandemic highlights the need for new development in this area. Basic and clinical research into viral–bacterial interactions over the past decade has revealed several mechanisms that underlie this synergism. By applying these insights to antiviral drug development, the potential exists to improve outcomes by means other than direct inhibition of the virus.

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