One may ask the question whether or not the protective effect of bile acid detergents is limited to bacterial endotoxins. Theiler observed that the virus of yellow fever and other 'arthropod-borne' viruses (belonging to the Toga group) are inactivated by bile or sodium deoxycholate. In contrast, the poliovirus, the virus of mouse encephalitis and endocarditis and Coxsackie viruses resist such treatment . This observation served as a basic principle for the classification of viruses according to which two groups, sodium deoxycholate sensitive ('big viruses') and resistant ('small viruses') could be distinguished. It is interesting that nobody, including Theiler, recognized the pathological significance of these observations despite the fact that Theiler was actually working with the virus of yellow fever when he discovered the antiviral effect of bile. If we compare the bile acid sensitive and resistant viruses, it becomes clear that the viruses having lipoprotein capsule are sensitive and those that do not possess such a capsule are resistant. It follows that bile acids would affect in vivo all the viruses that possess lipoprotein 'capsule' (peplon). Those without capsules are all resistant. Therefore, it is logical to assume that the detergent effect of bile acids would act in vivo on all those viruses that have lipoprotein capsules and that this fact could be used for protection against such viruses. In an experimental model using Aujeszky's disease virus, a herpes virus, we demonstrated the protective effects of bile acids. It was found in rats that bile deficient animals contracted disease after the oral administration of Aujeszky's disease virus whereas intact rats were resistant , It is possible that temporary or partial bile acid deficiency plays an important role in infections with herpes viruses that may occur after alimentary overloads (e.g., weddings and other feasts).
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