chapter  1
The Antiviral Era
Pages 14

The dawn of this century is brightened by the growing frequency of use and discovery of antiviral agents, the first fruits of the expanding genomics revolution. This new antiviral era, which flourished from the knowledge provided by the molecular biological characterization of the genetic makeup of viruses, is engendering new chemical and biological agents that are able to treat and not just prevent viral diseases. Hypotheses have also been rekindled that challenge conventional wisdom to expand the realm of diseases of viral etiology to include pathological processes, such as atherosclerosis and autoimmune disease, that would not have been previously thought as secondary to infectious processes. Regardless of whether the latter hypotheses prove to be correct, the experience that is being garnered in this antiviral revolution also serves, in the light of the information now available on the genetic makeup of human beings, as an encouraging paradigm for the development of drugs to treat all kinds of human diseases.