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In vitro antiviral activity of twenty-seven medicinal plant extracts from Southwest Nigeria against three serotypes of echoviruses

Ogbole, Omonike O., Akinleye, Toluwanimi E., Segun, Peter A., Faleye, Temitope C., Adeniji, Adekunle J.
Virology journal 2018 v.15 no.1 pp. 110
Ageratum conyzoides, Crinum, Enterovirus, Macaranga, Mondia whitei, Terminalia ivorensis, antiviral properties, cell culture, cell lines, cytopathogenicity, cytotoxicity, drug therapy, ethnobotany, infectious diseases, inhibitory concentration 50, leaves, medicinal plants, methanol, neutralization tests, plant extracts, screening, serotypes, tissue culture, vaccines, viruses, Nigeria
BACKGROUND: Echoviruses, a serotype of enteroviruses, infect millions of people globally and there is no specific drug treatment or vaccine available for its management. The screening of medicinal plants used locally for the treatment of infectious diseases, can provide a reliable option in the discovery of potent therapeutic compounds. This study was carried out to investigate the antiviral activities of 27 medicinal plant extracts, belonging to 26 different plant species, selected from Nigerian ethnobotany, against echovirus 7, 13 and 19 serotypes (E7, E13 and E19, respectively). METHODS: The plants were macerated in methanol and the cytotoxicities of the crude extracts were evaluated on the rhabdomyosarcoma cell line using the MTT assay. The antiviral activity of the plant extracts and fractions against echoviruses (E7, E13, and E19) was determined using the neutralisation assay, an assay that measures the inhibition of cytopathic effect on cell culture. RESULTS: The crude extract of Macaranga barteri leaves had the highest cytotoxicity with CC₅₀ value of 0.27 μg/mL. This was followed by Crinum jagus (9.88 μg/mL) and Terminalia ivorensis (12.14 μg/mL). The antiviral screening showed that ten out of the 27 crude plant extracts tested were active on E7 and E19, inhibiting the cytopathic effect of the virus in tissue culture. None of the extracts inhibited the cytopathic effect caused by E13 serotype. Amongst the active plant extracts, the methanol extract of M. barteri leaves had the highest antiviral activity on both E7 and E9 with IC₅₀ values of 0.028 and 0.0017 ng/mL, respectively, followed by the Ageratum conyzoides extract (0.208 μg/mL, E7; 0.006 μg/mL, E19) and Mondia whitei extract (0.038 μg/mL, E7; 0.005 μg/mL, E19). Amongst the fractions of M. barteri, the DCM fraction was most the active and selective on E7 (IC₅₀ = 0.0075 ng/mL; SI = 19,896.54) and E19 (IC₅₀ = 0.0175 ng/mL; SI = 8581.24). CONCLUSION: Our research has demonstrated that Macaranga barteri extracts has potent antiviral activity against echoviruses E7 and E19, and our findings suggest that this extract may have potential as a therapeutic agent in the treatment of enteroviral infections.