Background/Aims: New antivirals are needed to supplement or replace currently used drugs. The aim of this study was to evaluate the antiviral activity of synthetic peptides derived from physiological proteins. Methods: Vero cell monolayers were infected with herpes simplex virus 1, vesicular stomatitis virus, adenovirus, and coxsackievirus B5 strains in the presence of different concentrations of the selected peptides and viral yield was determined by plaque reduction assays to evaluate the antiviral activity of the peptides. Virucidal activity was evaluated by determining the residual infectivity of viral suspensions treated for 1 h with the peptides at the same concentrations as in the viral yield assays. Results: Among the investigated peptides, the killer peptide proved to exert a considerable antiviral activity against herpes simplex virus, attributable to a direct effect on virus particles, while its derivative K10S showed to be effective against the four investigated virus strains only at the highest concentration tested, yet, the inhibitory effects were only partial. Conclusion: Overall, initial evidence is provided on the antiviral activity of several peptides, as well as of their derivatives. Further investigation is warranted to ascertain the mechanism of action in order to develop new potential antiviral drugs.
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