In vitro inhibition of coronavirus replications by the traditionally used medicinal herbal extracts, Cimicifuga rhizoma, Meliae cortex, Coptidis rhizoma, and Phellodendron cortex.
J Clin Virol. 2008 Feb ;41(2):122-8. Epub 2007 Nov 26. PMID: 18036887
BACKGROUND: A search for new anti-coronaviral drugs to treat coronaviral infections was motivated by an outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).
OBJECTIVES: In order to find drugs that treat coronavirus infections, including SARS, we screened traditional medicinal herbal extracts and evaluated their antiviral activities on coronavirus replication.
STUDY DESIGN: We employed a plaque assay to evaluate the effect of 22 medicinal herbal extracts on virus replication. We determined the 50% effective concentration (EC50) of each extract that was necessary to inhibit the replication of mouse hepatitis virus A59 (MHV-A59); we also determined 50% cytotoxic concentrations (CC50) for each extract. Northern and Western blot analyzes were performed to investigate antiviral activity in MHV-infected DBT cells, including virus entry, viral RNA and protein expression, and virus release. Coronavirus specific inhibition was also demonstrated using porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV).
RESULTS: Cimicifuga rhizoma, Meliae cortex, Coptidis rhizoma, Phellodendron cortex and Sophora subprostrata radix decreased the MHV production and the intracellular viral RNA and protein expression with EC50 values ranging from 2.0 to 27.5 microg/ml. These extracts also significantly decreased PEDV production and less dramatically decreased vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) production in vitro.
CONCLUSIONS: The extracts selected strongly inhibited MHV replication and could be potential candidates for new anti-coronavirus drugs.