P34 is an antimicrobial peptide produced by Bacillus sp. P34, isolated from the intestinal contents of a fish from the Amazon basin. This peptide showed antibacterial properties against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria and was characterized as a bacteriocin like substance. It was demonstrated that the peptide P34 exhibited antiviral activity against feline herpesvirus type 1 in vitro. The aim of this work was to evaluate P34 for its antiviral properties in vitro, using RK 13 cells, against the equine arteritis virus, since it has no specific treatment and a variable proportion of stallions may become persistently infected. The results obtained show that P34 exerts antiviral and virucidal activities against equine arteritis virus, probably in the viral envelope. The antiviral assays performed showed that P34 reduces significantly the viral titers of treated cell cultures. The mechanism of action of P34 seems to be time/temperature-dependent. This peptide tends to be a promising antiviral compound for the prevention and treatment of arteriviral infections since it has a high therapeutic index. However, more detailed studies must be performed to address the exact step of viral infection where P34 acts, in order to use this peptide as an antiviral drug in vivo in the future.
equine arteritis virus; antiviral therapy; antimicrobial peptide; virucidal activity