Respiratory viral infections are a major public health problem, with much of their morbidity and mortality due to post-viral lung diseases that progress and persist after the active infection is cleared. This paradigm is implicated in the most common forms of chronic lung disease, such as asthma and COPD, as well as other virus-linked diseases including progressive and long-term coronavirus disease 2019. Despite the impact of these diseases, there is a lack of small-molecule drugs available that can precisely modify this type of disease process. Here we will review current progress in understanding the pathogenesis of post-viral and related lung disease with characteristic remodelling phenotypes. We will also develop how this data leads to mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) in general and MAPK13 in particular as key druggable targets in this pathway. We will also explore recent advances and predict the future breakthroughs in structure-based drug design that will provide new MAPK inhibitors as drug candidates for clinical applications. Each of these developments point to a more effective approach to treating the distinct epithelial and immune cell based mechanisms, which better account for the morbidity and mortality of post-viral and related types of lung disease. This progress is vital given the growing prevalence of respiratory viruses and other inhaled agents that trigger stereotyped progression to acute illness and chronic disease.

Original languageEnglish
Article number230220
JournalEuropean Respiratory Review
Issue number171
StatePublished - Jan 1 2024


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