From high-throughput to therapeutic: host-directed interventions against influenza viruses.
Influenza viruses are simultaneously supported and antagonized by factors within the host cell. This close relationship is the theoretical basis for future antivirals that target the host rather than the virus itself, a concept termed host-directed therapeutics. Genetic screening has led to the identification of host factors capable of modulating influenza virus infections, and these factors represent candidate targets for host-directed antiviral strategies. Despite advances in understanding host targets, however, there are currently no host-directed interventions for influenza viruses in clinical use. In this brief review, we discuss some host factors identified in knockout/knockdown and overexpression screens that could potentially be targeted as host-directed influenza intervention strategies. We further comment on the feasibility of changing gene expression in the respiratory tract with RNA delivery vectors and transient CRISPR-mediated gene targeting.
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