Antiviral Res 2019 Mar 26;163:125-139. Epub 2019 Jan 26.
National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases, School of Systems Biology, George Mason University, Manassas, VA, USA. Electronic address:
The New World alphaviruses, Venezuelan, eastern and western equine encephalitis viruses (VEEV, EEEV, and WEEV), are important human pathogens due to their ability to cause varying levels of morbidity and mortality in humans. There is also concern about VEEV and EEEV being used as bioweapons. Currently, a FDA-approved antiviral is lacking for New World alphaviruses. In this review, the function of each viral protein is discussed with an emphasis on how these functions can be targeted by therapeutics. Both direct acting antivirals as well as inhibitors that impact host protein interactions with viral proteins are described. Non-structural protein 3 (nsP3), capsid, and E2 proteins have garnered attention in recent years, whereas little is known regarding host protein interactions of the other viral proteins and is an important avenue for future study.