Therapeutic effect of meliacine, an antiviral derived from Melia azedarach L., in mice genital herpetic infection.
Phytother Res. 2009 Dec;23(12):1771-7. PMID: 19441066
Laboratorio de Virología, Departamento de Química Biológica, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Ciudad Universitaria, Pabellón 2, Piso 4, Intendente Güiraldes 2160, C1428EGA, Buenos Aires, Argentina. firstname.lastname@example.org
Since natural products are considered powerful sources of novel drug discovery, a partially purified extract (meliacine) from the leaves of Melia azedarach L., a plant used in traditional medicine in India for the treatment of several diseases, has been studied. Meliacine exhibits a potent antiviral effect against several viruses without displaying cytotoxicity. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the therapeutic effect of intravaginal administration of meliacine in a mouse model of genital herpetic infection. BALB/c female mice were infected with MS or G strains of Herpes Simplex Virus type 2 and then treated with meliacine topically. An overall protective effect was observed. Animal survival increased, the severity of the disease was reduced, life span was extended and virus shedding in vagina fluids was diminished. In addition, meliacine reduced the amount of virus that migrated to the brain and vaginal fluids presented higher levels of IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha than untreated infected mice. These results indicate that meliacine could be an alternative therapeutic compound against HSV-2 genital infection.