Author(s): Schaeffer DJ, Krylov VS
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Abstract The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the retrovirus that causes the acquired immune deficiency disease syndrome (AIDS). This review discusses the anti-HIV activity of extracts and compounds isolated from freshwater and marine algae, and cyanobacteria (formerly called "blue-green algae"). Compounds and extracts with anti-HIV activity are also active against other retroviruses such as herpes simplex virus (HSV), but the amount of antiviral activity varies with the compound and the virus. Most of the research has focused on sulfated homopolysaccharides and heteropolysaccharides. Sulfoglycolipids, carrageenans, fucoidan, sesquiterpene hydroquinones, and other classes of compounds with anti-HIV activity that have been isolated from algae have received less attention. Most studies have used in vitro test systems, but a few in vivo studies have been carried out using compounds isolated from algae or analogs produced synthetically or isolated from other natural sources. Sulfated homopolysaccharides are more potent than sulfated heteropolysaccharides. The presence of the sulfate group is necessary for anti-HIV activity, and potency increases with the degree of sulfation. Studies using nonsulfated and sulfated homo- and heteropolysaccharides isolated from algae or other natural sources, or synthesized, have revealed the mechanisms of binding of drugs to the virion, and the mechanisms of viral binding to host cells. However, given the few classes of compounds investigated, most of the pharmacopeia of compounds in algae and cyanobacteria with antiretroviral activity is probably not known. Copyright 2000 Academic Press.
This article was published in Ecotoxicol Environ Saf
and referenced in Journal of Aquaculture Research & Development