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Antiviral Potential of Algal Metabolites—A Comprehensive Review

Edificio TecLabs, Faculdade de Ciências, Biosystems and Integrative Sciences Institute (BioISI), Universidade de Lisboa, Campus da FCUL, Campo Grande, 1749-016 Lisboa, Portugal
Algae for Future, SA, Rua Eng. Clément Dumoulin Business Park, 2625-106 Póvoa de Santa Iria, Portugal
Institute of Biochemistry, University of Lübeck, Ratzeburger Allee 160, 23562 Lübeck, Germany
NORCE Norwegian Research Centre, Postboks 22 Nygårdstangen, 5838 Bergen, Norway
Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Plymouth PL1 3DH, UK
College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, Exeter EX4 4QD, UK
European Algae Biomass Association, Viale Belfiore, 10-50144 Florence, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Nathalie Bourgougnon
Mar. Drugs 2021, 19(2), 94;
Received: 2 December 2020 / Revised: 29 January 2021 / Accepted: 2 February 2021 / Published: 6 February 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Antiviral Agents)
Historically, algae have stimulated significant economic interest particularly as a source of fertilizers, feeds, foods and pharmaceutical precursors. However, there is increasing interest in exploiting algal diversity for their antiviral potential. Here, we present an overview of 50-years of scientific and technological developments in the field of algae antivirals. After bibliometric analysis of 999 scientific references, a survey of 16 clinical trials and analysis of 84 patents, it was possible to identify the dominant algae, molecules and viruses that have been shaping and driving this promising field of research. A description of the most promising discoveries is presented according to molecule class. We observed a diverse range of algae and respective molecules displaying significant antiviral effects against an equally diverse range of viruses. Some natural algae molecules, like carrageenan, cyanovirin or griffithsin, are now considered prime reference molecules for their outstanding antiviral capacity. Crucially, while many algae antiviral applications have already reached successful commercialization, the large spectrum of algae antiviral capacities already identified suggests a strong potential for future expansion of this field. View Full-Text
Keywords: algae; cyanobacteria; immunomodulatory effects; sulfated polysaccharides; lectins; HIV; coronaviruses algae; cyanobacteria; immunomodulatory effects; sulfated polysaccharides; lectins; HIV; coronaviruses
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pagarete, A.; Ramos, A.S.; Puntervoll, P.; Allen, M.J.; Verdelho, V. Antiviral Potential of Algal Metabolites—A Comprehensive Review. Mar. Drugs 2021, 19, 94.

AMA Style

Pagarete A, Ramos AS, Puntervoll P, Allen MJ, Verdelho V. Antiviral Potential of Algal Metabolites—A Comprehensive Review. Marine Drugs. 2021; 19(2):94.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pagarete, António, Ana S. Ramos, Pål Puntervoll, Michael J. Allen, and Vítor Verdelho. 2021. "Antiviral Potential of Algal Metabolites—A Comprehensive Review" Marine Drugs 19, no. 2: 94.

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