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Article

Hypericum perforatum and Its Ingredients Hypericin and Pseudohypericin Demonstrate an Antiviral Activity against SARS-CoV-2

1
Institute of Virology Muenster, Center for Molecular Biology of Inflammation (ZMBE), University Hospital Muenster, 48149 Muenster, Germany
2
Institute of Pharmaceutical Biology and Phytochemistry, University of Muenster, 48149 Muenster, Germany
3
Division of Clinical Pharmacy, Institute of Pharmaceutical and Medical Chemistry, University of Muenster, 48149 Muenster, Germany
4
Hirsch Apotheke, 58507 Luedenscheid, Germany
5
Division of Clinical Virology, Institute of Virology, University Hospital Muenster, 48151 Muenster, Germany
6
Department of Virology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Zagazig University, Zagazig 44511, Sharkia, Egypt
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editors: Jean Jacques Vanden Eynde and Annie Mayence
Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15(5), 530; https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15050530
Received: 23 March 2022 / Revised: 15 April 2022 / Accepted: 17 April 2022 / Published: 25 April 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue COVID-19 in Pharmaceuticals)
For almost two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has constituted a major challenge to human health, particularly due to the lack of efficient antivirals to be used against the virus during routine treatment interventions. Multiple treatment options have been investigated for their potential inhibitory effect on SARS-CoV-2. Natural products, such as plant extracts, may be a promising option, as they have shown an antiviral activity against other viruses in the past. Here, a quantified extract of Hypericum perforatum was tested and found to possess a potent antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2. The antiviral potency of the extract could be attributed to the naphtodianthrones hypericin and pseudohypericin, in contrast to other tested ingredients of the plant material, which did not show any antiviral activity. Hypericum perforatum and its main active ingredient hypericin were also effective against different SARS-CoV-2 variants (Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Omicron). Concerning its mechanism of action, evidence was obtained that Hypericum perforatum and hypericin may hold a direct virus-blocking effect against SARS-CoV-2 virus particles. Taken together, the presented data clearly emphasize the promising antiviral activity of Hypericum perforatum and its active ingredients against SARS-CoV-2 infections. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID; SARS-CoV-2; coronavirus; plant extract; medicinal plants; antivirals; Hypericum perforatum; hypericin; pseudohypericin COVID; SARS-CoV-2; coronavirus; plant extract; medicinal plants; antivirals; Hypericum perforatum; hypericin; pseudohypericin
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mohamed, F.F.; Anhlan, D.; Schöfbänker, M.; Schreiber, A.; Classen, N.; Hensel, A.; Hempel, G.; Scholz, W.; Kühn, J.; Hrincius, E.R.; Ludwig, S. Hypericum perforatum and Its Ingredients Hypericin and Pseudohypericin Demonstrate an Antiviral Activity against SARS-CoV-2. Pharmaceuticals 2022, 15, 530. https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15050530

AMA Style

Mohamed FF, Anhlan D, Schöfbänker M, Schreiber A, Classen N, Hensel A, Hempel G, Scholz W, Kühn J, Hrincius ER, Ludwig S. Hypericum perforatum and Its Ingredients Hypericin and Pseudohypericin Demonstrate an Antiviral Activity against SARS-CoV-2. Pharmaceuticals. 2022; 15(5):530. https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15050530

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mohamed, Fakry F., Darisuren Anhlan, Michael Schöfbänker, André Schreiber, Nica Classen, Andreas Hensel, Georg Hempel, Wolfgang Scholz, Joachim Kühn, Eike R. Hrincius, and Stephan Ludwig. 2022. "Hypericum perforatum and Its Ingredients Hypericin and Pseudohypericin Demonstrate an Antiviral Activity against SARS-CoV-2" Pharmaceuticals 15, no. 5: 530. https://doi.org/10.3390/ph15050530

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