Phytochemicals provide environmentally friendly and relatively inexpensive natural products, which could potentially benefit public health by controlling human norovirus (HuNoV) infection. In this study, 18 different phytochemicals were evaluated for antiviral effects against norovirus using murine norovirus (MNV) as a model for norovirus biology. Among these phytochemicals, curcumin (CCM) was the most potent anti-noroviral phytochemical, followed by resveratrol (RVT). In a cell culture infection model, exposure to CCM or RVT for 3 days reduced infectivity of norovirus by 91% and 80%, respectively. To confirm the antiviral capability of CCM, we further evaluated its antiviral efficacy at various doses (0.25, 0.5, 0.75, 1, and 2 mg/mL) and durations (short-term: 10, 30, 60, and 120 min; long-term: 1, 3, 7, and 14 days). The anti-noroviral effect of CCM was verified to occur in a dose-dependent manner. Additionally, we evaluated the inhibitory effect of each phytochemical on the replication of HuNoV using a HuNoV replicon-bearing cell line (HG23). Neither CCM nor RVT had a strong inhibitory effect on HuNoV replication, which suggests that their antiviral mechanism may involve viral entry or other life cycle stages rather than the replication of viral RNA. Our results demonstrated that CCM may be a promising candidate for development as an anti-noroviral agent to prevent outbreaks of foodborne illness.
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