Planta Med 1996; 62(4): 303-307
DOI: 10.1055/s-2006-957889

© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Antiviral Effect of a Polysaccharide from Sclerotium glucanicum towards Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 Infection

Magda Marchetti1 , Silvia Pisani1 , Valeria Pietropaolo1 , Lucilla Seganti1 , Rosario Nicoletti2 , Annamarta Degener3 , Nicola Orsi1
  • 1Institute of Microbiology, University “La Sapienza”, P.le Aldo Mora 5, I-00185 Rome, Italy
  • 2Department of Chemistry, University “Ta Sapienza”, P.le Aldo Moro 5, I-00185 Rome, Italy
  • 3Department of Cellular and Developmental Biology, University “La Sapienza”, P.le Aldo Moro 5, I-00185 Rome, Italy
Further Information

Publication History



Publication Date:
04 January 2007 (online)


Among different neutral polysaccharides from natural sources, scleroglucan from Sclerotium glucanicum significantly inhibits the replication of herpes simplex virus type 1 on Vero cells. Scleroglucan belongs to a class of exopolymers, expressed by members of genus Sclerotium and consists of a linear β-1,3-linked glucopyranose with side chains of single glucopyranose residues linked through β-1,6 glycosidic bonds. The effective antiviral concentration of this polysaccharide is far from the cytotoxicity threshold and consequently this natural product possesses a good selectivity index. Results obtained in experiments carried out in order to clarify the mechanism of action of this carbohydrate indicate that the block of infection occurs during the very early phases of the viral multiplication cycle since the highest inhibitory effect took place when it was added during the attachment step. The antiviral effect of scleroglucan seems to be related to its binding with membrane glycoproteins of HSV-1 particles which impedes the complex interactions of the virus with the cell plasma membrane.