These findings identify ellagic acid as a possible anti-Zika candidate compound. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Punica granatum Leaf Ethanolic Extract and Ellagic Acid as Inhibitors of Zika Virus Infection.
Planta Med. 2020 Dec ;86(18):1363-1374. Epub 2020 Sep 16. PMID: 32937663
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 ofleaf ethanolic extract, fractions, and phytoconstituents.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. 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 ECvalues 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.