Targeting Viral Heart Disease by RNA Interference
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Viral heart disease (VHD) is an important clinical disease entity both in pediatric as well as adult cardiology. Coxsackieviruses (CVBs) are considered an important cause for VHD in both populations. VHD may lead to dilated cardiomyopathy and heart failure which can ultimately require heart transplantation. However, no specific treatment modality is so far available. We and others have shown that coxsackieviral replication and cytotoxicity can be successfully targeted by RNA interference, thus leading to increased cell viability and even prolongation of survival in vivo. However, considerable limitations have to be solved before this novel therapeutic approach may enter the clinical trials arena.