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      Antiviral activities of Indonesian medicinal plants in the East Java region against hepatitis C virus

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          Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major cause of liver disease and a potential cause of substantial morbidity and mortality worldwide. The overall prevalence of HCV infection is 2%, representing 120 million people worldwide. Current standard treatment using pegylated interferon and ribavirin is effective in only 50% of the patients infected with HCV genotype 1, and is associated with significant side effects. Therefore, it is still of importance to develop new drugs for treatment of HCV. Antiviral substances obtained from natural products, including medicinal plants, are potentially good targets to study. In this study, we evaluated Indonesian medicinal plants for their anti-HCV activities.


          Ethanol extracts of 21 samples derived from 17 species of medicinal plants explored in the East Java region were tested. Anti-HCV activities were determined by a cell culture method using Huh7.5 cells and HCV strains of 9 different genotypes (1a to 7a, 1b and 2b).


          Four of the 21 samples tested showed antiviral activities against HCV: Toona sureni leaves (TSL) with 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC 50) of 13.9 and 2.0 μg/ml against the HCV J6/JFH1-P47 and -P1 strains, respectively, Melicope latifolia leaves (MLL) with IC 50 of 3.5 and 2.1 μg/ml, respectively, Melanolepis multiglandulosa stem (MMS) with IC 50 of 17.1 and 6.2 μg/ml, respectively, and Ficus fistulosa leaves (FFL) with IC 50 of 15.0 and 5.7 μg/ml, respectively. Time-of-addition experiments revealed that TSL and MLL inhibited both at the entry and post-entry steps while MMS and FFL principally at the entry step. TSL and MLL inhibited all of 11 HCV strains of all the genotypes tested to the same extent. On the other hand, FFL showed significantly weaker inhibitory activities against the HCV genotype 1a strain, and MMS against the HCV strains of genotypes 2b and 7a to a lesser extent, compared to the other HCV genotypes.


          Ethanol extracts of TSL, MLL, MMS and FFL showed antiviral activities against all the HCV genotypes tested with the exception that some genotype(s) showed significant resistance to FFL and to MMS to a lesser extent. These plant extracts may be good candidates for the development of anti-HCV drugs.

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          Most cited references 21

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          Development and characterization of hepatitis C virus genotype 1-7 cell culture systems: role of CD81 and scavenger receptor class B type I and effect of antiviral drugs.

          Six major hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotypes and numerous subtypes have been described, and recently a seventh major genotype was discovered. Genotypes show significant molecular and clinical differences, such as differential response to combination therapy with interferon-alpha and ribavirin. Recently, HCV research has been accelerated by cell culture systems based on the unique growth capacity of strain JFH1 (genotype 2a). By development of JFH1-based intergenotypic recombinants containing Core, envelope protein 1 and 2 (E1, E2), p7, and nonstructural protein 2 (NS2) of genotype 6a and 7a strains, as well as subtype 1b and 2b strains, we have completed a panel of culture systems for all major HCV genotypes. Efficient growth in Huh7.5 cells depended on adaptive mutations for HK6a/JFH1 (6a/2a, in E1 and E2) and J4/JFH1 (1b/2a, in NS2 and NS3); viability of J8/JFH1 (2b/2a) and QC69/JFH1 (7a/2a) did not require adaptation. To facilitate comparative studies, we generated virus stocks of genotype 1-7 recombinants with infectivity titers of 10(3.7) to 10(5.2) 50% tissue culture infectious dose/mL and HCV RNA titers of 10(7.0) to 10(7.9) IU/mL. Huh7.5 cultures infected with genotype 1-6 viruses had similar spread kinetics, intracellular Core, NS5A, and lipid amounts, and colocalization of Core and NS5A with lipids. Treatment with interferon-alpha2b but not ribavirin or amantadine showed a significant antiviral effect. Infection with all genotypes could be blocked by specific antibodies against the putative coreceptors CD81 and scavenger receptor class B type I in a dose-dependent manner. Finally, neutralizing antibodies in selected chronic phase HCV sera had differential effects against genotype 1-7 viruses. We completed and characterized a panel of JFH1-based cell culture systems of all seven major HCV genotypes and important subtypes and used these viruses in comparative studies of antivirals, HCV receptor interaction, and neutralizing antibodies.
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            Novel antiviral agents: a medicinal plant perspective.

             M Naji,  S. Jassim (2002)
            Several hundred plant and herb species that have potential as novel antiviral agents have been studied, with surprisingly little overlap. A wide variety of active phytochemicals, including the flavonoids, terpenoids, lignans, sulphides, polyphenolics, coumarins, saponins, furyl compounds, alkaloids, polyines, thiophenes, proteins and peptides have been identified. Some volatile essential oils of commonly used culinary herbs, spices and herbal teas have also exhibited a high level of antiviral activity. However, given the few classes of compounds investigated, most of the pharmacopoeia of compounds in medicinal plants with antiviral activity is still not known. Several of these phytochemicals have complementary and overlapping mechanisms of action, including antiviral effects by either inhibiting the formation of viral DNA or RNA or inhibiting the activity of viral reproduction. Assay methods to determine antiviral activity include multiple-arm trials, randomized crossover studies, and more compromised designs such as nonrandomized crossovers and pre- and post-treatment analyses. Methods are needed to link antiviral efficacy/potency- and laboratory-based research. Nevertheless, the relative success achieved recently using medicinal plant/herb extracts of various species that are capable of acting therapeutically in various viral infections has raised optimism about the future of phyto-antiviral agents. As this review illustrates, there are innumerable potentially useful medicinal plants and herbs waiting to be evaluated and exploited for therapeutic applications against genetically and functionally diverse viruses families such as Retroviridae, Hepadnaviridae and Herpesviridae
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              (-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate is a new inhibitor of hepatitis C virus entry.

              Here, we identify (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) as a new inhibitor of hepatitis C virus (HCV) entry. EGCG is a flavonoid present in green tea extract belonging to the subclass of catechins, which has many properties. Particularly, EGCG possesses antiviral activity and impairs cellular lipid metabolism. Because of close links between HCV life cycle and lipid metabolism, we postulated that EGCG may interfere with HCV infection. We demonstrate that a concentration of 50 μM of EGCG inhibits HCV infectivity by more than 90% at an early step of the viral life cycle, most likely the entry step. This inhibition was not observed with other members of the Flaviviridae family tested. The antiviral activity of EGCG on HCV entry was confirmed with pseudoparticles expressing HCV envelope glycoproteins E1 and E2 from six different genotypes. In addition, using binding assays at 4°C, we demonstrate that EGCG prevents attachment of the virus to the cell surface, probably by acting directly on the particle. We also show that EGCG has no effect on viral replication and virion secretion. By inhibiting cell-free virus transmission using agarose or neutralizing antibodies, we show that EGCG inhibits HCV cell-to-cell spread. Finally, by successive inoculation of naïve cells with supernatant of HCV-infected cells in the presence of EGCG, we observed that EGCG leads to undetectable levels of infection after four passages. EGCG is a new, interesting anti-HCV molecule that could be used in combination with other direct-acting antivirals. Furthermore, it is a novel tool to further dissect the mechanisms of HCV entry into the hepatocyte. Copyright © 2011 American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

                Author and article information

                Virol J
                Virol. J
                Virology Journal
                BioMed Central
                13 August 2013
                : 10
                : 259
                [1 ]Department of Pharmacognocy and Phytochemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, Airlangga University, Surabaya, Indonesia
                [2 ]Institute of Tropical Disease, Airlangga University, Surabaya, Indonesia
                [3 ]Division of Microbiology, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, Kobe, Japan
                [4 ]Research Center for Medicinal Plant Resources, National Institute of Biomedical Innovation, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan
                [5 ]JST/JICA SATREPS, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine, Kobe, Japan
                Copyright ©2013 Wahyuni et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.



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