Antimicrobial Activity of Organoselenium Compounds
Pp. 328-344 (17)
Selenium (Se) is a key component of a number of selenoproteins required for
the normal human metabolism. Se is considered a scavenger of free radicals; it has been
studied for its ability to improve the immune system functions and to prevent cancer.
The initial studies on anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activities of ebselen, an
organoselenium compound, have furthered the research to identify new molecules with
antimicrobial activities. The antimicrobial potential of many organoselenium
compounds was studied in in vitro and in vivo assays against a wide range of
microorganisms and suggested a potential use for them in different medical applications
such as treatment of drug resistant microorganisms, and as an adjuvant in healing
wounds. The interesting results observed for the Se-containing organic compounds also
suggest their potential use to enhance the safety and the shelf life of food products.
Another interesting application of organoselenium compounds is their use as a herbicide
because of their activity against parasites and plant pathogens, although the residual
toxicity of the compounds in food has to be investigated.
Antibacterial activity, Antifungal activity, Antiviral activity,
Antiparasitic activity, Food preservative, Wound dressing, Drug resistant bacteria,
Herbicide, Se-enriched probiotics.
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Perugia, Building B, Via del Giochetto, 06122 Perugia, Italy