Antiviral activities of extracts from Hong Kong seaweeds

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We extracted six Hong Kong brown seaweed species with hot water for their antiviral properties. The cytotoxicity and antiviral activity of these extracts were tested by MTT [3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenlytetrezolium bromide] method, cytopathic effect reduction assay, and plaque reduction assay. The antiviral effect was further determined by flow cytometric analysis. The results showed that most of these extracts inhibited the propagation of herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 (HSV-1 and HSV-2) standard strains with very low cytotoxicity to the host cells. The extracts of Hydroclathrus clathratus and Lobophora variegata showed more potential anti-HSV activities than the extracts of the other four seaweeds. They also had moderate antirespiratory syncytial virus (RSV) activities but could not inhibit influenza A virus. Hydroclathrus clathratus was further extracted by diluted acid and alkali and the antiviral effects of the extracts were also detected. The result showed that the hot water extract contained the main carbohydrate components that exhibited the antiviral activities against various strains of HSV, including the acyclovir-resistant strain. HI-3, a compound fractionated from this hot water extract, showed a dose-dependent anti-HSV activity in flow cytometric analysis and plaque reduction assay.

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