Viruses are significant pathogens involved in human diseases throughout human history. Many of these virus-related human diseases have zoonotic origins, such as AIDS, bird flu, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). We focus on the essential stages of the viral life cycle: cellular entry, replication and transcription of the viral genome, and virion assembly and release to identify the pivotal targets for drug development.
To study the underlying mechanisms of interplay between viruses and their hosts will also help reveal new drug targets. Innate host immunity is the first line of defense against pathogen infection, playing a critical role in host resistance to pathogenic microorganisms. Interestingly, the viruses have evolved a variety of strategies to antagonize host restriction and escape the innate immune response. The interaction between host antiviral proteins and viral antagonizing proteins constitutes a dynamic and sophisticated network. Thus, strategies that boost the roles of host restriction while diminishing viral antagonism may lead to new therapies against viral infection.