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Anti-herpes activity of polysaccharide fractions from Stevia rebaudiana leaves

The antiviral potential of natural polysaccharide compounds has been demonstrated, especially against enveloped viruses and members of the Herpesviridae family. Two polysaccharide fractions obtained from Stevia rebaudiana (Bertoni) leaves, that were active against Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) were studied to investigate their mode of action. Both polysaccharides - SFW (crude faction) and SSFK (homogeneous alkaline fraction) - exerted antiviral effects on the initial stages of HSV-1 infection by inhibiting viral adsorption and penetration. When added after virus internalization, both fractions decreased plaque size. The effect of the fractions was confirmed by investigating viral glycoprotein expression. Based on the mode of action of the polysaccharides demonstrated in the present work and on their selectivity index,the polysaccharides obtained from S. rebaudiana could be an alternative treatment of infections caused by HSV-1