Botanical extracts for their efficacy against alpha herpesvirus infections

Project: Research project

Project Details


Botanical extracts for their efficacy against alpha herpesvirus infections Botanical extracts for their efficacy against alpha herpesvirus infections Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) infection occurs in nearly 58 percent of the United States population and from 60-95 percent of adults worldwide. Approximately 100 million episodes of recurrent cold sores occur yearly in the US alone, and studies have shown that HSV-1 infection increases in prevalence with age. HSV-1 infection is transmitted primarily through mucocutaneous sites via saliva, respiratory droplets, or secretions. HSV-1 infection occurs predominantly at oral sites and has shown an increased prevalence in infection at genital sites. It can cause rash, papules, or vesicles following primary infection, and is known to reside permanently in the nervous system of the infected host. During latency, the viral genomes persist as circular, extrachromosomal episomes and the viral lytic genes are repressed. Periodically, the viral genomes in some of the neurons reactivate and the virus travels down the axon to the original site of infection, where it can cause recurrent disease resulting in skin ulcerations, neuralgia, and pain. It is the ability to cause an acute infection as well as to repeatedly reactivate and cause disease that is responsible for significant morbidity in humans. In addition to causing cold sores (herpes labialis) and more severe oral disease (herpes gingivitis), HSV-1 also causes herpes stromal keratitis, which is the leading cause of infectious blindness in the US, encephalitis in normal patients, and disseminated infections in immune compromised individuals. Although anti-herpes virus therapies are available, their effectiveness is limited and variable. Clearly development of novel and more effective therapies for treating HSV infections would have a major health impact in the US and worldwide. In addition, it is feasable that new therapeutic approaches developed for HSV-1 could translate to treatment of other herpes family members including HSV-2, which can cause severe morbidity and neonatal mortality and Varicella Zoster Virus which causes shingles, an emerging disease in the elderly population. Through high throughput screening techniques, we have identified 6-10 botanicals that target the replication cycles of alpha herpesviruses. We propose to determine the optimum extraction methods for each botanical by testing various extraction buffers, incubation temperatures, duration time of extraction, fresh versus dried plant material, and ratios of plant material to extraction buffer. This will be done to find the best parameters for extraction of the antiviral, analgesic, and anti-inflammatory components so that manufacturing will be efficient. We also propose to characterize multiple botanical extracts for their efficacy against alpha herpesvirus infections. Each of these botanicals inhibit at unique points during the replication cycle of HSV-1. We plan to continue our studies with HSV-1 and to extend these studies to HSV-2 and VZV. In addition, we plan to perform in vivo toxicity studies in order to formulate a safe and effective therapeutic that can be tested in phase I/II clinical trials.
Effective start/end date5/1/1310/31/14


  • INDUSTRY: Domestic Company: $277,595.00


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