• 1 Universiti Kuala Lumpur Royal College of Medicine Perak


The worlds land and sea represent a limitless reserve of natural, biological and potentially
active useful pharmaceutical products. Renewed interest in drugs from natural reserves,
advances in chemical separation and analysis have identified hundreds of unique exotic
physiologically active substances with antimicrobial, anti-tumor and other potentialities
more rapidly, from terrestrial plants, marine flora and various classes of marine fauna.
Development of practical and rapid methods for detection of plant products with activity
against infectious disease producing organisms is the need of the hour. Rapid assays for
antiviral studies using isotopic reverse transcriptase, E. coli DNA polymerase and HBV
DNA polymerase inhibition assays were standardized. Extracts of marine flora and fauna
collected under the DOD National project were assessed. Of the extracts assessed for virus
specific enzyme inhibitions, 24.35% possessed RT inhibition activity, 15.83% E. coli
DNA polymerase Inhibition activity, 42.72% of 35 extracts tested possessed HBV DNA
polymerase inhibition activity and 11.42% of 35 extracts tested possessed inhibition
activity against all three enzymes tested. The great potential of ocean’s flora and fauna is
there to be used for its antimicrobial activity in general and antiviral activity in particular,
which will suit our ever increasing need, is to be harnessed for the welfare of the human
community at large.