Conclusions

It has been clearly demonstrated that Spirulina contains several biological active molecules, some of them per se, have shown antiviral activities. The successful ability of viruses to infect specific cell types is due in part to the property of these viruses to bind to particular structures or receptors on the surface of cells. This interaction is highly specific and involves both, viral proteins known as viral attachment proteins (VAP) and cellular receptors. Therefore, any interference affecting the binding between both molecules will impair the virus infection. According to these observations, it is reasonable that Ca-SP, spirulan-like polysaccharides and sulfoglycolipids, and CBPs from Spirulina present strong and wide antiviral activity due at least to their interaction with the specialized binding proteins either from the virus or cells receptors. Therefore, Spirulina's antiviral principles are good candidates for antiviral therapeutical use in patients with AIDS, who usually suffer several herpesvirus opportunistic infections. Besides the wide antiviral effect, sulfated-polysaccharides from Spirulina have shown to target more than one step in the viral replication cycle, property that is very advantageous for therapeutic use, because it reduces the occurrence of drug-resistant viruses.

Finally, the antiviral molecules produced by Spirulina could be specifically modified to obtain more useful and efficient drugs for antiviral therapy, either for topical or systemic use. The study of Spirulina antiviral properties has a long way to go.

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