AFA-Algen und AIDS




by William T. Barry, MA, MS, Ph.D.

Many of you know that In 1989, United States scientists at the U. S. National Cancer Institute and U. S. National Institute ofHealth extracted glycolipids, which are combinations of sugars and fatty acids, from blue-green algae which have been found to be remarkably active against the AIDS virus.


The glycolipids extracted from blue-green algae seem to inhibit the growth of the AIDS virus. The research team has not yetlearned how the glycolipids inhibit the AIDS virus, simply they do.


The report for these findings was published In the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 16 August 1989. At that time, theonly drug licensed by The Federal Government against AIDS was Azidothymidine (AZT). Other compounds which holdsome promise are, alpha Interferon and Compound Q (an extract from Chinese cucumbers).

Glycolipids were extracted from blue-green algae and added to suspension of human white blood cells (T-Cells) attacked bythe AIDS virus. The addition of the glycolipids slows and/or halts the action of the AIDS virus. Aphanizomenon flos-aquaehas these same glycolipids dispersed throughout Its cells. Glycolipids are found in the cell membranes, and plasmamembranes which confine the protoplast of the cell. Glycolipids are especially rich in the heterocyst cells of Aphanizomenonflos-aquae which occur as the 8th to 20th cells in a microscopic filament of this blue-green algae.


The consequences of the discovery of the effect of glycolipids from blue-green algae is not known. What is known, is thatAphanizomenon flos-aquae has considerable glycolipids. Also Aphanizomenon flos-aquae has phosphoglycolipids,sulfonoglycolipids and combinations of carbohydrates which digest glycolipids. Aerobic conditions, which Aphanizomenon flos-aquae provides for itself via the production of oxygen in photosynthesis, promotes the formation of glycolipids. Anaerobiosis probably prevents the hydroxyIation of the aclycones of the glycolipids and the nitrogenase activity of the organism is oxygen sensitive (Rippka & Stanier 1978). Finally, the glycolipid layer surrounds the protoplast of The heterocyst of Aphanizomenon flos-aquae.


                                      1996, Barry, W. T. All rights rese