Fabrication of acyclovir-loaded flexible membrane vesicles (FMVs): evidence of preclinical efficacy of antiviral activity in murine model of cutaneous HSV-1 infection
Using the SKH-1 hairless mouse (HM) we have addressed the issue as to whether topically applied acyclovir (ACV) may mediate some of its antiviral actions by a systemic effect. When topically applied in a formulation consisting of polyvinyl alcohol (25% w/v):DMSO:cremophor EL:linoleic acid (63:16:16:5, v/v/v/v), ACV penetrated hairless mouse skin in a concentration-dependent manner and dose-dependently reduced cutaneous herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) KOS infection. Topically applied ACV also effectively reduced the mortality associated with disseminated HSV-2 HG-52 infection. At 1 h following topical application of 1.7% w/v ACV the plasma and skin concentrations of ACV were 5.5 nmoles/ml and 120 nmoles/g. At 1 h following an oral dose of ACV with antiviral efficacy comparable to topically applied ACV (1.7% w/v) the plasma and skin concentrations of ACV were 21.3 nmoles/ml and 51 nmoles/g. These findings imply that when applied topically to the HM, ACV can mediate a portion of its antiviral activity through a systemic mode of action.