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Human adenoviruses (HAdV) infections are generally mild and resolve spontaneously in immunocompetent individuals. However, HAdV infections can have a major clinical impact in immunocompromised patients. HAdV infections are associated with high morbidity and mortality in recipients of allogeneic stem cell transplants, particularly children. There are currently no drug approved for the treatment of HAdV infections. Nevertheless, some nucleotide analogues are used under temporary authorization for use, such as cidofovir or brincidofovir. Cidofovir inhibits the replication of HAdV but its nephrotoxicity and its low tissue concentrations severely limit its use. Brincidofovir, a cidofovir prodrug, with a better bioavailability and no nephrotoxicity was evaluated in the treatment of HAdV infections, but its development was recently stopped and it is currently no longer available in ATU. Other molecules with anti-HAdV activity are still in early stages of development. Adoptive immunotherapy by adenovirus-specific T-cell transfer is an interesting option but should be anticipated in patients with high risks of disseminated infections. Given the small therapeutic panel available, it is critical to continue the search for new anti-HAdV molecules, which remains mainly conducted by academic laboratories.


Maud Salmona, Linda Feghoul, Jérôme LeGoff. Which drugs to treat Adenovirus infections? Virologie (Montrouge, France). 2021 Feb 01;25(1):43-56

PMID: 33650496

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