Anti-herpes simplex 1 activity of simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba) wax

Zipora Tietel, Sarit Melamed, Noy Eretz-Kdosha, Ami Guetta, Raanan Gvirtz, Navit Ogen-Shtern, Arnon Dag, Guy Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis (Link) Schneider) wax is used for various dermatological and pharmaceutical applications. Several reports have previously shown beneficial properties of Jojoba wax and extracts, including antimicrobial activity. The current research aimed to elucidate the impact of Jojoba wax on skin residential bacterial (Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis), fungal (Malassezia furfur), and virus infection (herpes simplex 1; HSV-1). First, the capacity of four commercial wax preparations to attenuate their growth was evaluated. The results suggest that the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, and Malassezia furfur was unaffected by Jojoba in pharmacologically relevant concentrations. However, the wax significantly attenuated HSV-1 plaque formation. Next, a complete dose–response analysis of four different Jojoba varieties (Benzioni, Shiloah, Hatzerim, and Sheva) revealed a similar anti-viral effect with high potency (EC50 of 0.96 ± 0.4 µg/mL) that blocked HSV-1 plaque formation. The antiviral activity of the wax was also confirmed by real-time PCR, as well as viral protein expression by immunohistochemical staining. Chemical characterization of the fatty acid and fatty alcohol composition was performed, showing high similarity between the wax of the investigated varieties. Lastly, our results demonstrate that the observed effects are independent of simmondsin, repeatedly associated with the medicinal impact of Jojoba wax, and that Jojoba wax presence is required to gain protection against HSV-1 infec-tion. Collectively, our results support the use of Jojoba wax against HSV-1 skin infections.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6059
Issue number19
StatePublished - 7 Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Bioactive molecules
  • Dermatology
  • HSV-1
  • Herpes simplex
  • Jojoba
  • Medicinal properties
  • Simmondsia chinensis
  • Simmondsin
  • Virus


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