Kutapressin Inhibits In Vitro Infection of Human Herpesvirus Type 6.

Kutapressin (KU; Schwarz Pharma, Milwaukee, WI), is a prescription drug consisting of processed extract from porcine livers that contains peptides; it has been used in the treatment of patients with herpes zoster, keloids, seborrhea, other skin diseases, and neurasthenia. More recently, results of uncontrolled studies have indicated that treatment with KU results in the abatement of symptoms of many patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). One large study found evidence of reactivation of human herpesvirus type 6 (HHV-6) in many patients with CFS. Moreover, HHV-6 DNA was detected by Southern blot analysis in lymphocytes from patients with CFS. Because treatments with KU may have positive clinical effects on patients with CFS and the evidence that CFS is associated with reactivation of HHV-6, we investigated the possibility that KU might have direct activity against HHV-6. KU that was free of phenol was dissolved in tissue culture medium (RPMI 1640 supplemented with 10% fetal calf serum and antibiotics) for in vitro studies. A human T lymphocyte c line (HSB-2) was infected with HHV-6.
KU blocked HHV-6 (variant A, GS strain) infection of HSH cells most effectively at doses of 300 and 500 pg/mL. The doses of the drug were not toxic to the cells. Inhibition of HH 6 infection (1,000 TCID„) was most effective (>95‘t) whi cells (>l0'/mL) were pretreated with KU overnight, prior viral infection, and then were maintained in the presence of K throughout the experiment (14 days after infection). In addition, inhibition (>80%) of HHV-6 infection was observed when HSB-2 cells were first infected with 1,000 TCID„of HHV and were then maintained in the presence of 300- and 500 ug/ml doses of KU. When 300 and 500 pg/mL doses of KU we added to cells 3 days after the start of infection with HHV-6, inhibited only 22% and 33%  of viral infection, respectively.  When the cells were simultaneously treated with virus and 3G and 500 pg/mL of KU. 90% of the HHV-6 infection was inhibited.

These data show that KU is a potent inhihitor of HHV-infection. Although the mechanism of HHV-6 inhibition by KU is under investigation, electron microscopic examination of cell treated with KU prior to HHV-6 infection revealed abundan extracellular virus particles, which suggests inhibition of virs attachment and penetration.

Reprints or correspondence: Dr. Dharam V. Ahlashi, 4117 Barnsley Lane, Olney, Maryland 20832.

Clinical Infectious Diseases 1994;18(Suppl 1):S113

Keywords: kutapressin hhv6 ablashi virus infection treatment