• M. HASAN HAPID Oral Medicine Specialist Program, Faculty of Dentistry, Padjadjaran University, Jl. Sekeloa Selatan no 1, Bandung, West Java, Indonesia 40132
  • RIANI SETIADHI Department of Oral Medicine, Faculty of Dentistry, Padjadjaran University, Jl. Sekeloa Selatan no 1, Bandung, West Java, Indonesia 40132




Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV), Zinc, Antivirus


This study aimed to review zinc's effectiveness as an antivirus in treating herpes simplex virus infection. The authors use international journals published from 2000-2022, and use search engines such as Google Scholar, PubMed, and Science Direct with the keywords "zinc and herpes simplex virus". The herpes simplex virus that often causes symptoms in humans are HSV type 1 and type 2. The lesions appear as vesicles which then rupture into ulcers. Zinc is one of the most abundant nutrients or metals in the human body besides iron. Studies about the effects of zinc on HSV have shown that it has the function of inhibiting the viral life cycle. HSV attaches to the host cells to replicate and synthesize new viral proteins. Zinc can inhibit this process by depositing on the surface of the virion and inactivating the enzymatic function which is required for the attachment to the host cell, disrupting the surface glycoprotein of the viral membrane so it could not adhere and carry out the next life cycle, it can also inhibit the function of DNA polymerase that works for viral replication in the host cell. This article showed that zinc has effectiveness as an antivirus against the herpes simplex virus, therefore, patients infected with HSV can be treated with zinc as an alternative to an antivirus drug.


Download data is not yet available.


Kukhanova MK, Korovina AN, Kochetkov SN. Human herpes simplex virus: life cycle and development of inhibitors. Biochemistry (Mosc). 2014 Dec 7;79(13):1635-52. doi: 10.1134/S0006297914130124, PMID 25749169.

Neville BW, Damm D, Allen CM, Chi AC. Oral and maxillofacial Pathologi. 4th ed. Amsterdam: Elsevier; 2016. p. 218-24.

Viruses of relevance to dentistry: Samaranayake L. Essential microbiology for dentistry. 4th ed. Amsterdam: Elsevier; 2012. p. 28-33, 173-6.

Viruses, Harvey RA, Cornelissen CN, Fisher BD. Lippincott illustrated reviews microbiology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott’s Williams and Wilkins; 2013. p. 233-73.

Crimi S, Fiorillo L, Bianchi A, D’amico C, Amoroso G, Gorassini F. Herpes virus, oral clinical signs and QOL: a systematic review of recent data. Viruses. 2019;11(5):1-18. doi: 10.3390/v11050463. PMID 31117264.

Ulcerative, Vesicular, and bullous lesions, Glick M, Greenberg MS, Lockhart PB, Challacombe S. Burket’s Oral medicine. 13th ed. John Wiley & Sons; 2021. p. 36-44.

Ballyram R, Wood N, Khammissa R, Lemmer J, Feller L. Oral diseases associated with human herpes viruses: aetiology, clinical features, diagnosis and management. S Afr Dent J. 2016;71(6):253-9.

James C, Harfouche M, Welton NJ, Turner KM, Abu-raddad LJ, Gottlieb SL. Herpes simplex virus: global infection prevalence and incidence estimates, 2016. Bull World Health Organ. 2020;98(5):315-29. doi: 10.2471/BLT.19.237149, PMID 32514197.

Arduino PG, Porter SR. Herpes simplex virus type 1 infection: overview on relevant clinicopathological features. J Oral Pathol Med. 2008;37(2):107-21. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0714.2007. 00586.x. PMID 18197856.

McQuillan G, Kruszon Moran D, Flagg EW, Paulose Ram R. Prevalence of herpes simplex virus type 1 and type 2 in persons aged 14-49: the United States, 2015-2016. NCHS Data Brief. 2018;304(304):1-8. PMID 29442994.

Goldman RD. Child Health Update acyclovir for herpetic gingivostomatitis in children. Can Fam Physician. 2016;62:403-4. PMID: 27255621.

Femiano F, Gombos F, Scully C. Recurrent herpes labialis: a pilot study of the efficacy of zinc therapy. J Oral Pathol Med. 2005 Aug;34(7):423-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0714.2005.00327.x.x, PMID 16011612.

Read SA, Obeid S, Ahlenstiel C, Ahlenstiel G. The role of zinc in antiviral immunity. Adv Nutr. 2019;10(4):696-710. doi: 10.1093/advances/nmz013, PMID 31305906.

Solomons NW. Update on zinc biology. Ann Nutr Metab. 2013;62Suppl 1:8-17. doi: 10.1159/000348547, PMID 23689109.

Altaei T. Treatment of herpes simplex by zinc sulphate. Journal of Baghdad College of Dentistry. 2005;17(1):54-56.

Arens M, Travis S. Zinc salts inactivate clinical isolates of herpes simplex virus in vitro. J Clin Microbiol. 2000;38(5):1758-62. doi: 10.1128/JCM.38.5.1758-1762.2000, PMID 10790094.

Ranjbar Z, Zahed M, Ranjbar MA, Shirmardan Z. Comparative study of serum zinc concentration in recurrent herpes labialis patients and healthy individuals. BMC Oral Health. 2020;20(1):296. doi: 10.1186/s12903-020-01277-2, PMID 33115470.

King JC. Zinc: an essential but elusive nutrient. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011;94(2):679S-84S. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.110.005744, PMID 21715515.

Olechnowicz J, Tinkov A, Skalny A, Suliburska J. Zinc status is associated with inflammation, oxidative stress, lipid, and glucose metabolism. J Physiol Sci. 2018;68(1):19-31. doi: 10.1007/s12576-017-0571-7, PMID 28965330.

Wessels I, Rolles B, Rink L. The potential impact of zinc supplementation on COVID-19 pathogenesis. Front Immunol. 2020;11(Jul):1712. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2020.01712, PMID 32754164.

Mahajan BB, Dhawan M, Singh R. Herpes genitalis–topical zinc sulfate: an alternative therapeutic and modality. Indian J Sex Transm Dis AIDS. 2013;34(1):32-4. doi: 10.4103/0253-7184.112867, PMID 23919052.

Santosh ABR, Muddana K. Viral infections of oral cavity. J Family Med Prim Care. 2020;9(1):36-42. doi: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_807_19. PMID 32110562.

Wei YP, Yao LY, Wu YY, Liu X, Peng LH, Tian YL. Critical review of synthesis, toxicology and detection of acyclovir. Molecules. 2021;26(21). doi: 10.3390/molecules26216566. PMID 34770975.

Ryan L, Heed A, Foster J, Valappil M, Schmid ML, Duncan CJA. Acute kidney injury (AKI) associated with intravenous aciclovir in adults: incidence and risk factors in clinical practice. Int J Infect Dis. 2018 Sep 1;74:97-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijid.2018.07.002. PMID 30048817.

Kümel G, Schrader S, Zentgraf H, Daus H, Brendel M. The mechanism of the antiherpetic activity of zinc sulphate. J Gen Virol. 1990;71(12):2989-97. doi: 10.1099/0022-1317-71-12-2989, PMID 2177090.

Lee SR. Critical role of zinc as either an antioxidant or a prooxidant in cellular systems. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2018;2018:9156285. doi: 10.1155/2018/9156285, PMID 29743987.

Fani M, Khodadad N, Ebrahimi S, Nahidsamiei R, Makvandi M, Teimoori A. Zinc sulfate in narrow range as an in vitro anti-HSV-1 assay. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2020;193(2):410-3. doi: 10.1007/s12011-019-01728-0, PMID 31028520.

Mishra YK, Adelung R, Rohl C, Shukla D, Spors F, Tiwari V. Virostatic potential of micro-Nano filopodia-like ZnO structures against herpes simplex virus-1. Antiviral Res. 2011;92(2):305-12. doi: 10.1016/j.antiviral.2011.08.017. PMID 21893101.

Lin FR, Niparko JK. Ferrucci and L. prophylactic, therapeutic and neutralizing effects of zinc oxide tetrapod structures against herpes simplex virus type-2 infection. Bone. 2014;23(1):1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.antiviral.2012.09.020. PMID 1000000221.

Bourne N, Stegall R, Montano R, Meador M, Stanberry LR, Milligan GN. Efficacy and toxicity of zinc salts as candidate topical microbicides against vaginal herpes simplex virus type 2 infection. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2005 Mar;49(3):1181-3. doi: 10.1128/AAC.49.3.1181-1183.2005. PMID 15728922.

Duggal N, Jaishankar D, Yadavalli T, Hadigal S, Mishra YK, Adelung R. Zinc oxide tetrapods inhibit herpes simplex virus infection of cultured corneas. Mol Vis. 2017;23(Feb):26-38. PMID 28275313.

Khozeimeh F, Jafari N, Attar AM, Jafari S, Ataie M. Comparative analysis of salivary zinc level in recurrent herpes labialis. Dent Res J (Isfahan). 2012;9(1):19-23. doi: 10.4103/1735-3327.92922, PMID 22363358.

Mujayanto R, Harijanti K, Hernawan I. Topical application of 1% ZnSO4 on oral ulcers increases the number of macrophages in normal or diabetic conditions of Wistar rats. Majalah Kedokteran Gigi. 2016;49(3):133. doi: 10.20473/j.djmkg.



How to Cite

HAPID, M. H., & SETIADHI, R. (2022). A REVIEW: ZINC AS AN ANTIVIRUS ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT FOR HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS INFECTION. International Journal of Applied Pharmaceutics, 14(4), 1–6. https://doi.org/10.22159/ijap.2022.v14s4.OP04



Review Article(s)