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Ayehunie Seyoum; Belay, Amha; Baba, Timothy W.; Ruprecht, Ruth M.
Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes & Human Retrovirology: May 1st, 1998

An aqueous extract of the blue-green filamentous algae Arthrospira platensis (previously called Spirulina platensis) inhibited HIV-1 replication in human T-cell lines, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), and Langerhans cells (LC). Extract concentrations ranging between 0.3 and 1.2 μg/ml reduced viral production by approximately 50% (50% effective concentration [EC50]) in PBMCs. The 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) of extract for PBMC growth ranged between 0.8 and 3.1 mg/ml. Depending on the cell type used, therapeutic indices ranged between 200 and 6000. The extract inactivated HIV-1 infectivity directly when preincubated with virus before addition to human T-cell lines. Fractionation of the extract revealed antiviral activity in the polysaccharide fraction and also in a fraction depleted of polysaccharides and tannins. We conclude that aqueous A platensis extracts contain antiretroviral activity that may be of potential clinical interest.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Ruth M. Ruprecht, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, Laboratory of Viral Pathogenesis, 44 Binney Street, Boston, MA 02115, U.S.A.; email:

Manuscript received August 18, 1997; accepted December 10, 1997.

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.