Current challenges in the discovery of treatments against Mayaro fever

Rafael Elias Marques, Jacqueline Farinha Shimizu, Maurício Lacerda Nogueira, Nikos Vasilakis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Introduction: Mayaro fever is an emerging viral disease that manifests as an acute febrile illness. The disease is self-limiting, however joint pain can persist for months leading to chronic arthralgia. There is no specific treatment available, which ultimately leads to socioeconomic losses in populations at risk as well as strains to the public health systems. Areas covered: We reviewed the candidate treatments proposed for Mayaro virus (MAYV) infection and disease, including antiviral compounds targeting viral or host mechanisms, and pathways involved in disease development and pathogenicity. We assessed compound screening technologies and experimental infection models used in these studies and indicated the advantages and limitations of available technologies and intended therapeutic strategies. Expert opinion: Although several compounds have been suggested as candidate treatments against MAYV infection, notably those with antiviral activity, most compounds were assessed only in vitro. Compounds rarely progress toin vivo or preclinical studies, and such difficulty may be associated with limited experimental models. MAYV biology is largely inferred from related alphaviruses and reflected by few studies focusing on target proteins or mechanisms of action for MAYV. Therapeutic strategies targeting pathogenic inflammatory responses have shown potential against MAYV-induced disease in vivo, which might reduce long-term sequelae.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-356
Number of pages12
JournalExpert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2024


  • Antiviral compounds
  • arthritogenic disease
  • candidate treatments
  • compound screening technologies
  • immunopathogenesis
  • infection models
  • mayaro virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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