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Echinacea—A Source of Potent Antivirals for Respiratory Virus Infections
Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia/Vancouver, BC V5Z 3J5, Canada
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 June 2011; in revised form: 30 June 2011 / Accepted: 7 July 2011 / Published: 13 July 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Antivirals
Abstract: Extracts of Echinacea species have been used traditionally in North America for the control of symptoms of colds, influenza, and other diseases, and some of them have become very popular as “herbal medicines”. Recent studies have revealed that preparations derived from certain species and plant parts, but not all of them, possess potent antiviral activities, at non-cytotoxic concentrations, particularly against membrane-containing viruses. Thus all strains of human and avian influenza viruses tested (including a Tamiflu-resistant strain), as well as herpes simplex virus, respiratory syncytial virus, and rhinoviruses, were very sensitive to a standardized Echinacea purpurea preparation. In mechanistic studies the influenza virus-specific hemagglutinin and neuraminidase were inhibited. In addition some extracts displayed anti-inflammatory activity in virus-infected cells, and numerous other effects on the expression of cellular genes. Multiple components, either discrete compounds or mixtures, appeared to be responsible for the various antiviral activities.
Keywords: antiviral; Echinacea; phytomedicine; respiratory viruses; respiratory infection; anti-inflammatory
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Cite This Article
MDPI and ACS Style
Hudson, J.; Vimalanathan, S. Echinacea—A Source of Potent Antivirals for Respiratory Virus Infections. Pharmaceuticals 2011, 4, 1019-1031.
Hudson J, Vimalanathan S. Echinacea—A Source of Potent Antivirals for Respiratory Virus Infections. Pharmaceuticals. 2011; 4(7):1019-1031.
Hudson, James; Vimalanathan, Selvarani. 2011. "Echinacea—A Source of Potent Antivirals for Respiratory Virus Infections." Pharmaceuticals 4, no. 7: 1019-1031.