Antiviral, antimicrobial and antibiofilm activity of selenoesters and selenoanhydrides

Gabriella Spengler, Annamária Kincses, Tímea Mosolygó, Małgorzata Anna Marć, Márta Nové, Márió Gajdács, Carmen Sanmartín, Helen McNeil, Jessica Blair, Enrique Domínguez-Álvarez

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11 Citations (Scopus)
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Selenoesters and the selenium isostere of phthalic anhydride are bioactive selenium compounds with a reported promising activity in cancer, both due to their cytotoxicity and capacity to reverse multidrug resistance. Herein we evaluate the antiviral, the biofilm inhibitory, the antibacterial and the antifungal activities of these compounds. The selenoanhydride and 7 out of the 10 selenoesters were especially potent antiviral agents in Vero cells infected with herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2). In addition, the tested selenium derivatives showed interesting antibiofilm activity against Staphylococcus aureus and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, as well as a moderate antifungal activity in resistant strains of Candida spp. They were inactive against anaerobes, which may indicate that the mechanism of action of these derivatives depends on the presence of oxygen. The capacity to inhibit the bacterial biofilm can be of particular interest in the treatment of nosocomial infections and in the coating of surfaces of prostheses. Finally, the potent antiviral activity observed converts these selenium derivatives into promising antiviral agents with potential medical applications.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4264
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2019


  • selenoesters
  • selenoanhydrides
  • antivirals
  • biofilm inhibitors
  • antibacterials
  • antifungals
  • HSV-2
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Salmonella typhimurium
  • Candida spp


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