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October 2021

Antiviral Res. 1998 Jul; 39(1): 25-33.

Suppression of recurrent genital herpes simplex virus type 2 infection by Rhus javanica in guinea pigs.

Nakano M, Kurokawa M, Hozumi T, Saito A, Ida M, Morohashi M, Namba T, Kawana T, Shiraki K.

Department of Virology, Toyama Medical and Pharmaceutical University, Japan.

Rhus javanica has been shown to exhibit anti-herpes simplex virus (HSV) activity and potentiate the anti-HSV activity of acyclovir in vitro and in vivo. This extract was examined for its suppressive efficacy on recurrent genital infection in guinea pigs. Guinea pigs were primarily infected intravaginally with HSV type 2 (HSV-2). Prophylactic oral administration, at the dose corresponding to human use, of R. javanica significantly reduced the incidence, severity and/or frequency of spontaneous and severe skin lesions as compared with latently infected guinea pigs administered with water. This prophylactic efficacy was confirmed by the crossover administration, for more than 2 months, of R. javanica and water to the infected guinea pigs. Toxicity, such as weight loss, from R. javanica administration was not observed in the guinea pigs. When recurrent HSV-2 disease was induced by ultraviolet irradiation 3 months after primary infection, the prophylaxis with R. javanica was also significantly effective in reducing the severity of ultraviolet-induced skin lesions. Thus, prophylaxis of recurrent genital HSV-2 infection with R. javanica may preserve the efficacy of acyclovir by reducing both the use of acyclovir and the appearance of acyclovir-resistant viruses.

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