The main difference between antiretroviral and antiviral is that antiretroviral is a type of drug that is important in fighting retroviral infections such as HIV whereas antiviral is a type of drug that fights against viral infections such as herpes, hepatitis, and influenza.
Antiretroviral and antiviral are two types of drugs that fight against infections of different viruses. The main feature of antiretroviral and antiviral drugs is that these drugs do not kill the pathogen but, inhibit the development of the virus.
Key Areas Covered
- What is Antiretroviral
- Definition, Features, Importance
- What is Antiviral
- Definition, Features, Importance
- Similarities Between Antiretroviral and Antiviral
- Outline of Common Features
- Difference Between Antiretroviral and Antiviral
- Comparison of Key Differences
Antiretroviral, Antiviral, Viruses
What is Antiretroviral
Antiretroviral are drugs that inhibit the development of retroviruses. Usually, HIV or human immunodeficiency virus is a retrovirus. These antiretroviral drugs inhibit the transmission of the HIV virus from person to person. In general, antiretroviral drugs inhibit virus replication in the body, allowing the immune system to repair and prevent further damage.
Since HIV can quickly adapt and become resistant to drugs, a combination of antiretroviral drugs is given. Therefore, it is a fixed-dose combination for HIV. The number of viruses in the blood or the viral load is measured during the treatment. Most people’s viral load becomes undetectable within 6 months of antiretroviral treatment.
Moreover, a retrovirus is capable of inserting a DNA copy of its RNA genome into the DNA of the host. To do that, retroviruses use reverse transcription, producing DNA from their RNA genome.
What is Antiviral
Antiviral is drugs that fight against viral infections in the body. There are four main characteristics of an antiviral drug: the ability to enter into infected cells, interference with viral nucleic acid synthesis, the ability to interfere with the virus’s ability to bind with cells, and the ability to stimulate the body’s immune system. Moreover, there are three mechanisms of action in antiviral drugs: inhibiting the viral attachment, preventing the genetic copying of the virus, and preventing viral production or the replication of the virus.
Moreover, viruses are obligate intracellular pathogens. In addition, the main characteristic features of a virus are as follows:
- Lack of both a cell wall and a cell membrane,
- Does not carry out metabolic processes, must attach to and enter a host,
- Uses the host cell’s energy to synthesize protein, DNA, and RNA,
- Difficult to kill as it lives inside the host’s cell and a drug that kills the virus may also kill the cell
Similarities Between Antiretroviral and Antiviral
- Antiretroviral and antiviral are two types of drugs that fight against various virus infections.
- However, they do not kill the pathogen as they only inhibit the development of the virus.
Difference Between Antiretroviral and Antiviral
Antiretroviral refers to a class of drugs that inhibit the activity of retroviruses such as HIV while antiviral refers to a drug used to treat infections caused by viruses such as hepatitis.
Antiretroviral drugs inhibit the growth of retroviruses while antiviral drugs inhibit the growth of viruses.
HIV is a type of retrovirus that an antiretroviral drug can treat while hepatitis, herpes, and influenza are viruses that an antiviral drug can treat.
In brief, antiretroviral and antiviral are two types of drugs that are important in treating virus infections. Antiretroviral drugs fight against retroviral diseases such as HIV. In contrast, antiviral drugs fight against viral infections such as hepatitis, herpes, influenza, etc. Therefore, the main difference between antiretroviral and antiviral is the types of viruses that these drugs work upon.
- (n.d.). NHS choices. HIV and AIDS – Treatment – NHS. Retrieved August 27, 2022, from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hiv-and-aids/treatment/#:~:text=Antiretroviral%20drugs,quickly%20adapt%20and%20become%20resistant.
- Antiviral drugs. Physiopedia. (n.d.). Retrieved August 27, 2022
- “Antiretroviral Drugs to Treat HIV Infection (31793869534) ” By NIAID – Own Work (CC BY 2.0) via Commons Wikimedia
- “Basic Scheme of Virus en ” By DEXi – Own Work (CC0) via Commons Wikimedia