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Article

Potential Use of Tea Tree Oil as a Disinfectant Agent against Coronaviruses: A Combined Experimental and Simulation Study

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Department of Biology, University of Tor Vergata, 00133 Rome, Italy
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Laboratory of Virology, Department of Molecular Medicine, Sapienza University of Rome, 00185 Rome, Italy
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Istituto Pasteur Italia, 00161 Rome, Italy
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Department of Clinical Sciences and Translations Medicine, University of Tor Vergata, 00133 Rome, Italy
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Department of Experimental Medicine, University of Tor Vergata, 00133 Rome, Italy
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Department of Biomedicine and Prevention, University of Tor Vergata, 00133 Rome, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Ki Hyun Kim, Mostafa Rateb, Hossam Hassan and Akihito Yokosuka
Molecules 2022, 27(12), 3786; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27123786
Received: 30 May 2022 / Accepted: 8 June 2022 / Published: 12 June 2022
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the relevance of proper disinfection procedures and renewed interest in developing novel disinfectant materials as a preventive strategy to limit SARS-CoV-2 contamination. Given its widely known antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties, Melaleuca alternifolia essential oil, also named Tea tree oil (TTO), is recognized as a potential effective and safe natural disinfectant agent. In particular, the proposed antiviral activity of TTO involves the inhibition of viral entry and fusion, interfering with the structural dynamics of the membrane and with the protein envelope components. In this study, for the first time, we demonstrated the virucidal effects of TTO against the feline coronavirus (FCoVII) and the human coronavirus OC43 (HCoV-OC43), both used as surrogate models for SARS-CoV-2. Then, to atomistically uncover the possible effects exerted by TTO compounds on the outer surface of the SARS-CoV-2 virion, we performed Gaussian accelerated Molecular Dynamics simulations of a SARS-CoV-2 envelope portion, including a complete model of the Spike glycoprotein in the absence or presence of the three main TTO compounds (terpinen-4-ol, γ-terpinene, and 1,8-cineole). The obtained results allowed us to hypothesize the mechanism of action of TTO and its possible use as an anti-coronavirus disinfectant agent. View Full-Text
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; coronavirus; tea tree oil; GaMD; disinfectant agent; spike glycoprotein SARS-CoV-2; coronavirus; tea tree oil; GaMD; disinfectant agent; spike glycoprotein
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MDPI and ACS Style

Romeo, A.; Iacovelli, F.; Scagnolari, C.; Scordio, M.; Frasca, F.; Condò, R.; Ammendola, S.; Gaziano, R.; Anselmi, M.; Divizia, M.; Falconi, M. Potential Use of Tea Tree Oil as a Disinfectant Agent against Coronaviruses: A Combined Experimental and Simulation Study. Molecules 2022, 27, 3786. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27123786

AMA Style

Romeo A, Iacovelli F, Scagnolari C, Scordio M, Frasca F, Condò R, Ammendola S, Gaziano R, Anselmi M, Divizia M, Falconi M. Potential Use of Tea Tree Oil as a Disinfectant Agent against Coronaviruses: A Combined Experimental and Simulation Study. Molecules. 2022; 27(12):3786. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27123786

Chicago/Turabian Style

Romeo, Alice, Federico Iacovelli, Carolina Scagnolari, Mirko Scordio, Federica Frasca, Roberta Condò, Serena Ammendola, Roberta Gaziano, Maurizio Anselmi, Maurizio Divizia, and Mattia Falconi. 2022. "Potential Use of Tea Tree Oil as a Disinfectant Agent against Coronaviruses: A Combined Experimental and Simulation Study" Molecules 27, no. 12: 3786. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules27123786

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