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Phytomedicine. 2008 Jan;15(1-2):62-70.

Comparative in vitro study on the anti-herpetic effect of phytochemically characterized aqueous and ethanolic extracts of Salvia officinalis grown at two different locations.

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Department of Virology, Hygiene Institute, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany.


Aqueous and ethanolic extracts of Salvia officinalis (Lamiaceae) from two different locations (Garden and Swabian Mountains) were examined in vitro on RC-37 cells for their antiviral activity against herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and type 2 (HSV-2) using a plaque reduction assay. The 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC50) of the extracts for HSV plaque formation were determined in dose-response studies. All extracts tested revealed a high virucidal activity against free HSV-1 and HSV-2. The experimental data exhibited a significant higher sensitivity of HSV against the extracts derived from Garden in comparison with those from Swabian Mountains. The most active one was the Garden 20% ethanol extract with IC50 values of 0.18 microg/ml for HSV-1 and 0.04 microg/ml for HSV-2. In order to identify the mode of antiviral action, the extracts were added to the host cells (RC-37) or viruses at different stages of infection. Independently of the location, both types of herpes viruses were considerably inactivated after treatment with the extracts prior to cell infection. Plaque formation was significantly reduced by >90% for HSV-1 and by >99% for HSV-2. Pretreatment of the host cells with both Garden and Swabian Mountains 20% and 40% ethanolic extracts prior to virus infection revealed a strong reduction of HSV-2 plaque formation by 94% and 70% (Garden) and 99% and 45% (Swabian Mountains), respectively. In time-activity studies with free HSV-1 over a period of 2h, a clearly time-dependent activity was demonstrated whereby the ethanolic extracts of both locations revealed a much higher activity than the aqueous ones. The 20% ethanolic extracts of both locations are of special interest and were effective when added to host cells and free virus. A topical application with a dual mode of action would be ideal against recurrent herpes infections.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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