Zika virus, an arthropod-borne flavivirus, is an emerging healthcare threat worldwide. Zika virus is responsible for severe neurological effects, such as paralytic Guillain-Barrè syndrome, in adults, and also congenital malformations, especially microcephaly. No specific antiviral drugs and vaccines are currently available, and treatments are palliative, but medicinal plants show great potential as natural sources of anti-Zika phytochemicals. This study deals with the investigation of the composition, cytotoxicity, and anti-Zika activity of Punica granatum leaf ethanolic extract, fractions, and phytoconstituents. P. granatum leaves were collected from different areas in Italy and Greece in different seasons. Crude extracts were analyzed and fractionated, and the pure compounds were isolated. The phytochemical and biomolecular fingerprint of the pomegranate leaves was determined. The antiviral activities of the leaf extract, fractions, and compounds were investigated against the MR766 and HPF2013 Zika virus strains in vitro. Both the extract and its fractions were found to be active against Zika virus infection. Of the compounds isolated, ellagic acid showed particular anti-Zika activities, with EC 50values of 30.86 μM for MR766 and 46.23 μM for HPF2013. The mechanism of action was investigated using specific antiviral assays, and it was demonstrated that ellagic acid was primarily active as it prevented Zika virus infection and was able to significantly reduce Zika virus progeny production. Our data demonstrate the anti-Zika activity of pomegranate leaf extract and ellagic acid for the first time. These findings identify ellagic acid as a possible anti-Zika candidate compound that can be used for preventive and therapeutic interventions.

Punica granatum Leaf Ethanolic Extract and Ellagic Acid as Inhibitors of Zika Virus Infection

Acquadro S.;Civra A.;Cagliero C.;Marengo A.;Ritta M.;Francese R.;Bertea C.;Sgorbini B.;Lembo D.;Donalisio M.;Rubiolo P.
2020-01-01

Abstract

Zika virus, an arthropod-borne flavivirus, is an emerging healthcare threat worldwide. Zika virus is responsible for severe neurological effects, such as paralytic Guillain-Barrè syndrome, in adults, and also congenital malformations, especially microcephaly. No specific antiviral drugs and vaccines are currently available, and treatments are palliative, but medicinal plants show great potential as natural sources of anti-Zika phytochemicals. This study deals with the investigation of the composition, cytotoxicity, and anti-Zika activity of Punica granatum leaf ethanolic extract, fractions, and phytoconstituents. P. granatum leaves were collected from different areas in Italy and Greece in different seasons. Crude extracts were analyzed and fractionated, and the pure compounds were isolated. The phytochemical and biomolecular fingerprint of the pomegranate leaves was determined. The antiviral activities of the leaf extract, fractions, and compounds were investigated against the MR766 and HPF2013 Zika virus strains in vitro. Both the extract and its fractions were found to be active against Zika virus infection. Of the compounds isolated, ellagic acid showed particular anti-Zika activities, with EC 50values of 30.86 μM for MR766 and 46.23 μM for HPF2013. The mechanism of action was investigated using specific antiviral assays, and it was demonstrated that ellagic acid was primarily active as it prevented Zika virus infection and was able to significantly reduce Zika virus progeny production. Our data demonstrate the anti-Zika activity of pomegranate leaf extract and ellagic acid for the first time. These findings identify ellagic acid as a possible anti-Zika candidate compound that can be used for preventive and therapeutic interventions.
2020
86
18
1363
1374
antiviral; ellagic acid; leaf ethanolic extract; Lythraceae; phytochemical and biomolecular fingerprint; Punica granatum; Zika virus; Ellagic Acid; Humans; Phytochemicals; Pomegranate; Zika Virus; Zika Virus Infection
Acquadro S.; Civra A.; Cagliero C.; Marengo A.; Ritta M.; Francese R.; Sanna C.; Bertea C.; Sgorbini B.; Lembo D.; Donalisio M.; Rubiolo P.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2318/1766995
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