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Molecules 2013, 18(8), 9550-9566; doi:10.3390/molecules18089550
Article

Melaleuca alternifolia Concentrate Inhibits in Vitro Entry of Influenza Virus into Host Cells

1,†
, 2,†
, 3
, 4
, 1
, 5
, 1
, 1
, 1
, 3
, 2,*  and 1,*
1 Key Laboratory of Tropical Disease Control of Ministry of Education, Department of Microbiology, Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510080, China 2 Department of Anatomy, Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510080, China 3 Center for Environment and Population Health, Griffith University, Queensland 4111, Australia 4 Research Center for Drug Discovery and Institute of Human Virology, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510006, China 5 Department of Pathology, Griffith Medical School, Gold Coast Campus, Gold Coast, QLD 4222, Australia These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 June 2013 / Revised: 18 July 2013 / Accepted: 19 July 2013 / Published: 9 August 2013
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Abstract

Influenza virus causes high morbidity among the infected population annually and occasionally the spread of pandemics. Melaleuca alternifolia Concentrate (MAC) is an essential oil derived from a native Australian tea tree. Our aim was to investigate whether MAC has any in vitro inhibitory effect on influenza virus infection and what mechanism does the MAC use to fight the virus infection. In this study, the antiviral activity of MAC was examined by its inhibition of cytopathic effects. In silico prediction was performed to evaluate the interaction between MAC and the viral haemagglutinin. We found that when the influenza virus was incubated with 0.010% MAC for one hour, no cytopathic effect on MDCK cells was found after the virus infection and no immunofluorescence signal was detected in the host cells. Electron microscopy showed that the virus treated with MAC retained its structural integrity. By computational simulations, we found that terpinen-4-ol, which is the major bioactive component of MAC, could combine with the membrane fusion site of haemagglutinin. Thus, we proved that MAC could prevent influenza virus from entering the host cells by disturbing the normal viral membrane fusion procedure.
Keywords: Melaleuca alternifolia Concentrate (MAC); influenza virus; haemagglutinin; terpinen-4-ol; molecular docking; molecular dynamics Melaleuca alternifolia Concentrate (MAC); influenza virus; haemagglutinin; terpinen-4-ol; molecular docking; molecular dynamics
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Li, X.; Duan, S.; Chu, C.; Xu, J.; Zeng, G.; Lam, A.K.-Y.; Zhou, J.; Yin, Y.; Fang, D.; Reynolds, M.J.; Gu, H.; Jiang, L. Melaleuca alternifolia Concentrate Inhibits in Vitro Entry of Influenza Virus into Host Cells. Molecules 2013, 18, 9550-9566.

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