Main Article Content
Viruses transmitted by arthropods (arboviruses) are the etiological agents of several human diseases that have worldwide distribution; some of them are dengue (DENV), zika (ZIKV), yellow fever (YFV), and chikungunya (CHIKV) viruses. All of them are especially important in tropical and subtropical regions; however, zika and chikungunya viruses are involved in epidemics worldwide, while the dengue virus is still the biggest problem in public health in Latin America, with distribution in almost all countries. These viruses alter the quality of life of the population due to the morbidity and mortality associated with its complications. Factors, such as, environmental conditions that favor the distribution of vectors, deficiencies in health services, and lack of effective vaccines, guarantee the presence of these vector-borne diseases. The treatment of these diseases is only palliative, as there are no therapies formulated till date that demonstrate specific antiviral activity. Moreover, there is still no clarity about the effectiveness of the vaccine for dengue. The use of natural products, as therapeutic tools, is an ancestral practice in different cultures. According to a WHO the 80% of some population of some countries from Africa and Asia depends on the use traditional medicines to deal with some diseases. Molecular characteristics of these viruses are important in determining its cellular pathogenesis, emergence, and dispersion mechanisms, as well as for the development of new antivirals and vaccines for control strategies. In this review, we summarize the current knowledge of the molecular structure and replication mechanisms of DENV, YFV, ZIKV, and CHIKV, as well as their mechanism of entry into host cells, and a brief overview about the potential targets accessed to inhibit these viruses in vitro and a summary about their treatment with natural extracts from plants.
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