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Original article

Perillyl alcohol and perillic acid exert efficient action upon HSV-1 maturation and release of infective virus

Camilly Pires Mello, Thereza Quirico-Santos, Lídia Fonte Amorim, Viveca Giongo Silva, Lucianne Madeira Fragel, David C Bloom, Izabel Palmer Paixão

Corresponding author name: Izabel Palmer Paixão
Corresponding author e-mail: izabeluff@gmail.com

Citation: Antiviral Therapy 2020; 25:1-11
doi: 10.3851/IMP3315

Date accepted: 29 April 2019
Date published online: 16 May 2019


Background: Infection by herpes simplex type-1 virus (HSV-1) causes several pathological processes, including cutaneous, oral and genital infections, fatal encephalitis and cognitive dysfunction due to grey matter loss. Acyclovir is the reference compound used as HSV-1 antiviral therapy. However, with the emergence of HSV-resistant strains to current antiviral drugs, development of new antiviral agents with distinct modes of action is urgently needed.

Methods: In this study, we examined the mechanism of action of monoterpenes perillyl alcohol (POH) and perillic acid (PA) upon in vitro replication of HSV-1 KOS wild-type and the syn-mutant 17+ strain on Vero cells by plaque assay.

Results: The cytotoxicity of POH and PA was measured by MTT assay and indicated that both compounds had high anti-HSV-1 activities in a concentration range that was not toxic for Vero cells. In addition, PCR analysis showed that POH and PA did not inhibit viral genome replication, but rather the release of infective virion particles from Vero cells.

Conclusions: Such findings suggest that POH and PA exert action upon late stages of HSV-1 maturation, therefore, indicating a promising perspective to its application in clinical investigation as effective anti-HSV-1 therapy preventing intermittent reactivation and progressive grey matter loss.


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