Plenary Lecture

Plenary Lecture

Antiviral Drugs and Therapy Perspectives

Assistant Professor Petia Genova-Kalou
National Centre of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases
Department of Virology
Head-Leader of Laboratory of Cell Cultures
44A "Gen. Stoletov" Blvd.
1233 Sofia, Bulgaria

Viruses are microorganisms that are as varied in type as the plants and animals. A particular virulent virus can infect and kill a human host, which is million times larger. The human immune system is the first line of defense against any infectious organisms. However, sometimes this protection proves inadequate to the viral challenge. In this situation humans attempt to provide additional aid in retarding viral reproduction through the use of antiviral drugs. Any of the stages of viral replication can be a target for antiviral intervention. Unfortunately the antiviral chemotherapy must confront three obstacles: (i) a possible interference with the normal cellular metabolism, leading to residual cytotoxic side effects; (ii) the genetic variability of the viruses, producing drug-resistant mutants and (iii) the inability of any antiviral chemotherapeutic agent known to date to eradicate latent viral infection. Viruses have been shown to be particularly adept to developing resistance to drugs, and the effective management of viral diseases may well rely on combination therapy. This may take the form of either targeting a single virus function with multiple agents or using several agents to attack different targets in the viral life cycle. Many viral diseases still require new treatments. These facts ensure that there will be many new challenges for antiviral drug therapy in the future. The evidence from the past suggests that the challenges will be met.

Brief Biography of the Speaker:
Petia Genova-Kalou is a Head-Leader of Laboratory of Cell cultures at Department of Virology, National Centre of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases, Bulgaria. Her research focused on the mechanisms of viral replication, pathogenesis, possibly providing novel antiviral strategies, development of novel treatment strategies with newly synthesized metal-based and with natural origin compounds. She authored or co-authored over 30 scientific papers published in reviewed and not peer-review system journals and over 80 abstracts presented at national and international conferences. She wrote four chapters In: Clinical Virology edited by Prof. Stefan Dundarov MD, First Edition, Medicine and Sport Publisher, inc. pp. 27 35, pp. 80 89, pp. 102 108, pp. 192 197, 2006. She is the Coordinator of three National Projects to the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science and a member of the team of three International Projects. In 2002 her work and efforts were rewarded with a prize a received for "Young Scientist of Bulgaria 2002". She is the Coordinator of three National Projects to the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science and a member of the team of three International Projects. She had the opportunity to be a research fellow at National Hellenic Research Foundation (NHRF), Institute of Biological Research and Biotechnology, Greece and Institute Pasteur Hellenic, National Influenza Reference Laboratory of Southern Greece. She had honor as Invited Speaker of William M. Barto Memorial Speaker Series of the Foundation Fulton-Montgomery Community College, a College of the State University of New York, USA.



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