Spectroscopic evaluation of the effect of a red microalgal polysaccharide on herpes-infected vero cells

Mahmoud Huleihel, Marina Talyshinsky, Yelena Souprun, Vitaly Erukhimovitch

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    9 Scopus citations


    The sulfated polysaccharide obtained from a species of red microalga has proved to be a potent antiviral agent against various members of the herpes family. In the present study, we used microscopic Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FT-IR) to investigate differences between normal cells, those infected with herpes viruses, and infected cells treated with red microalgal polysaccharide. FT-IR enables the characterization of cell or tissue pathology based on characteristic molecular vibrational spectra of the cells. The advantage of microscopic FT-IR spectroscopic over conventional FT-IR spectroscopy is that it facilitates inspection of restricted regions of cell cultures or tissue. Our results showed significant spectral differences at early stages of infection between infected and noninfected cells, and between infected cells treated with the polysaccharide and those not treated. In infected cells, there was an impressive decrease in sugar content and a considerable increase in phosphate levels in conjunction with the infection progress. Our results also proved that sugars penetrated and accumulated inside cells treated with the red microalgal polysaccharide. These could have been sugar fragments of low molecular weight present in the polysaccharide solution, despite purification by dialysis. Such sugar accumulation might be responsible for a breakdown in the internal steps of the viral replication cycle.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)390-395
    Number of pages6
    JournalApplied Spectroscopy
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - 1 Apr 2003


    • FT-IR microscopy
    • Fourier transform infrared microscopy
    • Herpes virus
    • Red microalgal polysaccharide
    • Spectroscopy
    • Varicella zoster virus

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Instrumentation
    • Spectroscopy


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