Efficacy of Thai medicinal plant extracts against herpes simplex virus type 1 infection in vitro and in vivo.
Twenty Thai medicinal plant extracts were evaluated for anti-herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) activity. Eleven of them inhibited plaque formation of HSV-1 more than 50% at 100microg/ml in a plaque reduction assay. Aglaia odorata, Moringa oleifera, and Ventilago denticulata among the 11 were also effective against thymidine kinase-deficient HSV-1 and phosphonoacetate-resistant HSV-1 strains. These therapeutic efficacies were characterized using a cutaneous HSV-1 infection in mice. The extract of M. oleifera at a dose of 750mg/kg per day significantly delayed the development of skin lesions, prolonged the mean survival times and reduced the mortality of HSV-1 infected mice as compared with 2% DMSO in distilled water (P<0.05). The extracts of A. odorata and V. denticulata were also significantly effective in limiting the development of skin lesions (P<0.05). There were no significant difference between acyclovir and these three plant extracts in the delay of the development of skin lesions and no significant difference between acyclovir and M. oleifera in mean survival times. Toxicity of these plant extracts were not observed in treated mice. Thus, these three plant extracts may be possible candidates of anti-HSV-1 agents.