Organoselenium Chemistry: Between Synthesis and Biochemistry

Indexed in: Book Citation Index, Science Edition, EBSCO.

The use of organoselenium reagents as catalysts is a common thread that runs through the chapters of this book, introducing important aspects of the modern organoselenium chemistry: organocatalysis, ...
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Antimicrobial Activity of Organoselenium Compounds

Pp. 328-344 (17)

Donatella Pietrella


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