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Neuherberg (Germany) – extracts obtained from the Rockrose known as a medicinal plant show amazing antiviral activity against HIV and Ebola viruses in cell cultures, researchers report after investigations at Helmholtz Zentrum München.
As Prof. Dr. Ruth Brack-Werner and Dr. Stephanie Rebenburg of Helmholtz Zentrum München (HMGU) currently in Nature journal “Scientific Reports” (DOI: 10.1038 / srep20394 ) report inactivate the extracts of the Rockrose (Cistus incanus) HI- viruses, Ebola or Marburg virus and prevent reproduction in laboratory experiments in which they block the docking of the virus to cells. These bind ingredients of extracts selectively on the virus particles and so prevent infection.
“Viral infections are for doctors remains a major challenge, even though, for example, for HIV / AIDS several antiretrovirals are available,” explains the HMGU press release and continues: “Against HIV / AIDS are required due to the development of resistance, novel active ingredients and against Ebola or Marburg viruses, there are currently no approved drugs. “
The team led by Brack-Werner worked with clinical isolates of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 and 2, including an HIV strain that is resistant to multiple therapeutically used antiretrovirals. “Extracts of Cistus inactivated HIV virus in all experiments,” says Brack-Werner. They block viral coat proteins, which the docking of the virus is prevented to the host cells. Even after 24 weeks of laboratory tests developed no resistance.
“Our results for the anti-HIV-1 activity of Cistus incanus provide the first evidence that commercially available extracts of the Rockrose, or other plants such as Pelargonium Sidoides could be used for the development of novel and scientifically sound phytotherapeutics against HIV,” said Brack -Werner. “Since the antiviral effect of the studied by us plant extracts is different from all previously clinically used drugs against HIV-1, such preparations would be a valuable addition to the range of established drugs”.
In addition to HIV, the extracts of Cistus were active not only against HIV but also against virus particles with envelope proteins of Ebola or Marburg viruses. The researchers also found evidence that Cistus extracts contain many antiviral ingredients which might act in combination: “Together with the previously described in the literature antiviral activity of Cistus extracts against influenza viruses, the results demonstrate the broad antiviral activity of Cistus extracts against important human pathogenic viruses. “
Viral infections are among the world’s ten leading causes of death in humans (HIV / AIDS: listed as number 6 of the WHO). The findings from Brack-Werner’s laboratory open up a range of new applications in the global fight against viral infectious diseases, the HMUG. For this purpose, counted as the development of optimized antiviral mixtures of plant extracts as phytotherapy. Creams or gels could prevent as microbicides sexual spread of pathogens such as HIV, because Cistus extracts inhibit the infectivity of virus particles. Furthermore and Cistus and pelargonium plant extracts promising sources for the isolation of new drug classes and molecules. The now published further work in the laboratory are aimed at the study of the antiviral activity of these plant extracts in humans and the characterization of their antiviral ingredients.
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