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Kinchington D, Schinazi RF, eds. ($99.00.) Humana Press, 2000. ISBN 0 896 03561 1.
This is an interesting collection of techniques used to search for compounds active against a variety of different viruses, and also to identify mutations in viral genes conveying resistance to antivirals. Although antiviral compounds were discovered and described in research laboratories more than 60 years ago, their widespread clinical application has only come of age during the past 20–30 years. Over the past decade, a rational application of antivirals has started—that is, they are used after the viruses to be attacked have been investigated and found to be susceptible to particular compounds.
This volume deals with a variety of assays used to determine the antiviral activity of compounds against several viruses of clinical importance (hepatitis viruses, herpesviruses, human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV), influenza viruses, and papilloma viruses). The introductory chapter on antiviral compounds is very comprehensive but could have been slightly longer. Very interesting is the chapter on laboratory safety considerations, also outlining differences …