BMC complementary and alternative medicine

In vitro screening for antiviral activity of Turkish plants revealing methanolic extract of Rindera lanata var. lanata active against human rotavirus.

PMID 28118832


Human rotavirus (HRoV) is the leading cause of severe gastroenteritis in infants and children under the age of five years. No specific antiviral drug is available for HRoV infections and the treatment of viral diarrhea is mainly based on rehydration and zinc treatment. In this study, we explored medicinal plants endemic to Turkey flora as a source of anti-HRoV compunds. We performed an antiviral screening on Ballota macrodonta, Salvia cryptantha and Rindera lanata extracts by focus reduction assay. The extract with the highest selectivity index (SI) was selected; its antiviral activity was further confirmed against other HRoV strains and by virus yield reduction assay. The step of viral replicative cycle putatively inhibited was investigated by in vitro assays. The methanolic extract of R. lanata (Boraginaceae) showed the most favourable selectivity index. This extract exhibited a dose-dependent inhibitory activity against three different HRoV strains (EC50 values ranging from 5.8xa0μg/ml to 25.5xa0μg/ml), but was inactive or barely active against other RNA viruses, namely human rhinovirus and respiratory syncytial virus. The R. lanata extract targets the early steps of HRoV infection, likely by hampering virus penetration into the cells. These results make the R. lanata methanolic extract a promising starting material for a bioguided-fractionation aimed at identifying anti-HRoV compounds. Further work is required to isolate the active principle and assess its clinical potential.

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