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Antiviral Activity against Herpes Simplex Virus-1 found in Black-lip Pearl Oyster Blood09 Nov 2015
If you are susceptible to cold sores from the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV-1), then downing half a dozen raw oysters might be a good antiviral therapy. Just be sure to smear some of the raw oyster juice on your cold sore before swallowing!

It is well known that the blood of adult pacific oysters contains antiviral agents that protect the oyster against the oyster herpesvirus OsHV-1. These as yet unknown compounds are also effective against HSV-1.1 Unfortunately, juvenile oysters are much more susceptible to the disease and OsHV-1 has induced mass mortalities of the larvae and sprat of the pacific oyster in Europe and recently Oceania in the last few years.

A research team at the University of Queensland headed by Prof. Andrew Barnes has recently assessed the effect of OsHV-1 virus on juvenile Black-lip pearl oysters.2 This research is of great interest as the production of pearls from the Black-lip pearl oyster is a vital income source to the economies of French Polynesia and other pacific island nations.

Deliberate OsHV-1 infection of juvenile black-lip pearl oysters and pacific oysters showed that the black-lip pearl oyster was not an effective host/carrier of the OsHV-1 virus. Survival rates were much higher in the juvenile black-lip oyster as compared to infected juvenile pacific oysters. Furthermore, strong antiviral activity was exhibited by black-lip oyster blood against HSV-1 (IC50 =77ug/ml) which suggests that this might be the source of the immunity that these oysters display against OsHV-1. It would be interesting to isolate and characterize the antiviral agents in the Black-lip pearl oyster blood as a potential source of new antiviral agents.

1) Putative antiviral activity in hemolymph from adult Pacific oysters, Crassostrea gigas, Cécile Olicardab, Tristan Renault, Corinne Torhy, Abdenour Benmansour and Nathalie Bourgougnona* Antiviral Research 2005; 66(2-3), 147-152

2) Resistance of Black-lip pearl oyster, Pinctada margaritifera, to infection by Ostreid herpes virus 1var under experimental challenge may be mediated by humoral antiviral activity. Terence L.S. Tan , Ika Paul-Pont , Olivia M. Evans, Daniel Watterson, Paul Young, Richard Whittington, Angelique Fougerouse, Herve Bichet, Andrew C. Barnes*,Cecile Dang, Fish & Shellfish Immunology 44 (2015) 232-240.



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