Chapter 1

Marine Red Algae as Source of Bioactive Therapeutic Molecules with Activity Against Viral Infection

Silvia Novío, María Jesús Núñez and Manuel Freire-Garabal

Abstract

This chapter is an updated review of the literature published since 1980s about compounds with antiviral properties isolated from red seaweed (Rhodophyta). It integrates findings from molecular, experimental and cellular researches to show an overview of potential antiviral agents derived from Rhodophyta and their promising application in viral therapy. Extracts of and/or compounds isolated from red seaweed, mainly polysaccharides, play a protective role against different viruses such as human immunodeficiency virus, herpes simplex virus, influenza virus, cytomegalovirus, and others. The main target of the antiviral action of these algal compounds is the initial binding of pathogens to the host cells.

Total Pages: 3-85 (83)

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