Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy

Comparative study of mechanisms of herpes simplex virus inactivation by sodium lauryl sulfate and n-lauroylsarcosine.

PMID 12183250


The mechanisms of herpes simplex virus (HSV) inactivation by sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and n-lauroylsarcosine (LS), two anionic surfactants with protein denaturant potency, have been evaluated in cultured cells. Results showed that pretreatment of HSV type 1 (HSV-1) strain F and HSV-2 strain 333 with either surfactant inhibited, in a concentration- and time-dependent manner, their infectivities on Vero cells. SLS was a more potent inhibitor of HSV-2 strain 333 infectivity than LS with respect to the concentration (4.8-fold lower) and time (2.4-fold shorter) required to completely inactivate the virus. No inhibition of both herpesvirus strains infectivities was observed when Vero cells were pretreated with either surfactant. LS prevented the binding of HSV-2 strain 333 to cells without affecting the stable attachment and the rate of penetration into cells, whereas SLS exerted the opposite effect. Both SLS and LS inhibited, in a concentration-dependent manner, the HSV-2 strain 333-induced cytopathic effect, probably by affecting newly synthesized virions that come into contact with surfactant molecules present in culture medium. The pretreatment of HSV-2 strain 333 with specific combinations of SLS and LS concentrations inhibited the viral infectivity in a synergistic manner and resulted in only a small increase in their toxicities for exponentially growing Vero cells compared with that caused by each compound alone. Taken together, these results suggest that SLS and LS, alone or combined, could represent potent candidates as microbicides in topical vaginal formulations to prevent the transmission of herpes and possibly other pathogens that cause sexually transmitted diseases, including human immunodeficiency virus type 1.