The search for newer more cost effective treatments for infectious diseases remains a challenge. Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection, which is especially common in the immunosupressed, is an important challenge for treating physicians. Gangciclovir’s cost is a major hurdle in developing countries. Leflunomide is cheaper and is easily given orally. It works by a novel mechanism inhibiting virion assembly. It also has immunosuppressive properties. It and has been shown to be effective in both gangciclovir sensitive as well as resistant cases of CMV infection. Given these considerations we believe that leflunomide is an exiting new drug for CMV infection. However, hepatotoxicity and teratogenicity are known side effects. The exact dose and duration of treatment for CMV infection, for secondary prophylaxis, and in situations of gangciclovir resistance need further study.
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Conflicts of interest: none declared.