Photodynamic inactivation of herpes viruses with phthalocyanine derivatives

Z. Smetana, E. Mendelson, J. Manor, J. E. van Lier, E. Ben-Hur, S. Salzberg, Z. Malik

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66 Scopus citations


The antiviral photosensitization capacity of 11 different phthalocyanine (Pc) derivatives was examined using herpes simplex virus-1, herpes simplex virus-2 and varicella zoster virus in the search for the most potent sensitizers for viral decontamination of blood. The kinetics of viral photoinactivation were resolved during the stages of viral adsorption and penetration into the host cells. The capacity of Pc in the photodynamic inactivation of viruses was compared with that of merocyanine 540 (MC540), another widely studied photosensitizer. Sensitivity to photoinactivation decreased progressively with time after addition of viruses to their host cells. The viruses were most sensitive to photodynamic inactivation up to 30 min from the initiation of adsorption. Cell-associated viruses, 45-60 min after the onset of adsorption, are highly resistant to photodynamic treatment by most photosensitizers, with the exception of amphiphilic Pc derivatives. Thus the mixed sulfonated Pc-naphthalocyanine derivatives AlNSB3P and AlN2SB2P demonstrated a remarkable decontamination activity even 60 min after the onset of adsorption. Ultrastructural examination of these photosensitized viruses demonstrated damage to the viral envelope which prevented viral adsorption and/or penetration. The non-enveloped adenovirus was found to be resistant to all the dyes tested.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-43
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Photochemistry and Photobiology B: Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Herpes viruses
  • Photodynamic treatment
  • Photosensitization
  • Phthalocyanines


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