Safety, Formulation and In Vitro Antiviral Activity of the Antimicrobial Peptide Subtilosin Against Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1
In the present study, the antiviral properties of the bacteriocin subtilosin against Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and the safety and efficacy of a subtilosin-based nanofiber formulation were determined. High concentrations of subtilosin, the cyclical antimicrobial peptide produced by Bacillus amyloliquefaciens, were virucidal against HSV-1. Interestingly, at non-virucidal concentrations, subtilosin inhibited wild type HSV-1 and aciclovir-resistant mutants in a dose-dependent manner. Although the exact antiviral mechanism is not fully understood, time of addition experiments and western blot analysis suggest that subtilosin does not affect viral multiplication steps prior to protein synthesis. Poly(vinyl alcohol)-based subtilosin nanofibers with a width of 278 nm were produced by the electrospinning process. The retained antimicrobial activity of the subtilosin-based fibers was determined via an agar well diffusion assay. The loading capacity of the fibers was 2.4 mg subtilosin/g fiber, and loading efficiency was 31.6 %. Furthermore, the nanofibers with and without incorporated subtilosin were shown to be non-toxic to human epidermal tissues using an in vitro human tissue model. Taking together these results, subtilosin-based nanofibers should be further studied as a novel alternative method for treatment and/or control of HSV-1 infection.