Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


College of Science and Mathematics



Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Sandra D. Adams

Committee Member

Lee H. Lee

Committee Member

Carlos A. Molina


The purpose of this investigation was to determine if flavanol compounds, called theaflavins, found only in black tea and black tea extract (BTE) could inhibit herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) infection in cultured A549 human epithelial cells. The effect of BTE both on A549 cultured cells and HSV-1 was assessed by using phase contrast and fluorescent microscopy, as well as trypan blue and WST-1 assays and gel electrophoresis; the effect of infectivity was quantified by plaque assays and compared using a spectrophotometer to examine the extracted DNA and PCR products. Results indicated that HSV-1 did not cause cytopathic effects in A549 cells when exposed to BTE at a concentration of 1 mg/mL. Furthermore, HSV-1 treated with BTE resulted in no visible plaques at 10‘3 viral dilution and a reduction in viral DNA, indicating that BTE is capable of inhibiting HSV-1 in A549 cell cultures. The results of this study are promising for the future development of BTE into a treatment for HSV-1 infections.

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