The enzymatic depolymerization of fucoidans from brown algae allowed the production of their standardized derivatives with different biological activities. This work aimed to compare the antiviral activities of native (FeF) and modified with enzyme (FeHMP) fucoidans from F. evanescens. The cytotoxicity and antiviral activities of the FeF and FeHMP against herpes viruses (HSV-1, HSV-2), enterovirus (ECHO-1), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) in Vero and human MT-4 cell lines were examined by methylthiazolyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) and cytopathic effect (CPE) reduction assays, respectively. The efficacy of fucoidans in vivo was evaluated in the outbred mice model of vaginitis caused by HSV-2. We have shown that both FeF and FeHMP significantly inhibited virus-induced CPE in vitro and were more effective against HSV. FeF exhibited antiviral activity against HSV-2 with a selective index (SI) > 40, and FeHMP with SI ˃ 20, when they were added before virus infection or at the early stages of the HSV-2 lifecycle. Furthermore, in vivo studies showed that after intraperitoneal administration (10 mg/kg), both FeF and FeHMP protected mice from lethal intravaginal HSV-2 infection to approximately the same degree (44-56%). Thus, FeF and FeHMP have comparable potency against several DNA and RNA viruses, allowing us to consider the studied fucoidans as promising broad-spectrum antivirals.
Keywords: ECHO-1; HIV; HSV-1; HSV-2; antiviral activity; fucoidans.