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Special Issue "Herbal Medicines as Antivirals"

A special issue of Molecules (ISSN 1420-3049).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Assoc. Prof. Justin Jang Hann CHU
Website
Guest Editor
National University of Singapore, Singapore
Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, A*STAR, Singapore
Interests: positive-sense RNA viruses; molecular virology; antiviral strategies (therapeutics and vaccines); natural product antivirals
Dr. Chee Keng MOK
Website
Guest Editor
National University of Singapore, Singapore
Interests: emerging and re-emerging viruses; epidemiology surveillance; antiviral mechanism; viral pathogenesis

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Emerging and re-emerging infections caused by viruses continue to threaten us. Over the past decades, Ebola virus, SARS and MERS coronavirus, avian influenza viruses, enteroviruses, as well as vector-borne viruses, such as chikungunya, Zika, and dengue, to name but a few, have caused large-scale outbreaks around the world, resulting in huge socioeconomic burden. There is no effective antiviral or vaccine available for clinical applications for many of these emerging and re-emerging viruses. Currently, the management of emerging and re-emerging infections has been limited to supportive treatments, and it is important to develop alternate strategies to identify potential antiviral therapeutics against virus infections.

Herbal medicine traditionally focuses on the use of herbal plants and plant extracts to treat a diverse of human diseases, in fact, a number of modern drugs were originally extracted from plant sources, even if they are now made synthetically. In Ayurveda, about 2000 plant species are considered to have medicinal application, while the Chinese Pharmacopoeia lists over 5700 traditional medicines, mostly of plant origin. Many of the diverse plant species growing throughout the world have medicinal uses, containing active constituents that have direct beneficial effects on the human body. For example, flavanoids have a wide range of actions and many medicinal uses. Some of flavanoids also have anti-inflammatory and antiviral activity, such as quercetin that inhibits the replication of herpes simplex virus type 1 and polio-virus type 1, and baicalein and quercetagetin, which are shown to inhibit chikungunya infection.

In this Special Issue, we are requesting original research articles and reviews focusing on the identification, synthesis, and evaluation of herbal medicine and/or active constituents against viral infections. Studies using antiviral therapeutic approaches and rationales based on herbal medicine are also welcome.

Assoc. Prof. Justin Jang Hann CHU
Dr. Chee Keng MOK
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Molecules is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • herbal
  • active constituents
  • plant extracts
  • viral infections
  • antiviral therapeutics
  • virus inhibition

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
The Geraniin-Rich Extract from Reunion Island Endemic Medicinal Plant Phyllanthus phillyreifolius Inhibits Zika and Dengue Virus Infection at Non-Toxic Effect Doses in Zebrafish
Molecules 2020, 25(10), 2316; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25102316 - 15 May 2020
Abstract
The mosquito-borne viruses dengue (DENV) and Zika (ZIKV) viruses are two medically important pathogens in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. There is an urgent need of therapeutics against DENV and ZIKV, and medicinal plants are considered as a promising source of [...] Read more.
The mosquito-borne viruses dengue (DENV) and Zika (ZIKV) viruses are two medically important pathogens in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. There is an urgent need of therapeutics against DENV and ZIKV, and medicinal plants are considered as a promising source of antiviral bioactive metabolites. In the present study, we evaluated the ability of Phyllanthus phillyreifolius, an endemic medicinal plant from Reunion Island, to prevent DENV and ZIKV infection in human cells. At non-cytotoxic concentration in vitro, incubation of infected A549 cells with a P. phillyreifolius extract or its major active phytochemical geraniin resulted in a dramatic reduction of virus progeny production for ZIKV as well as four serotypes of DENV. Virological assays showed that P. phillyreifolius extract-mediated virus inhibition relates to a blockade in internalization of virus particles into the host cell. Infectivity studies on ZIKV showed that both P. phillyreifolius and geraniin cause a loss of infectivity of the viral particles. Using a zebrafish model, we demonstrated that administration of P. phillyreifolius and geraniin has no effect on zebrafish locomotor activity while no morbidity nor mortality was observed up to 5 days post-inoculation. Thus, P. phillyreifolius could act as an important source of plant metabolite geraniin which is a promising antiviral compound in the fight against DENV and ZIKV. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Herbal Medicines as Antivirals)
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Open AccessArticle
Discordant Activity of Kaempferol Towards Dengue Virus and Japanese Encephalitis Virus
Molecules 2020, 25(5), 1246; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25051246 - 10 Mar 2020
Abstract
Kaempferol, a plant-derived flavonoid, has been reported to have activity against Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) in BHK-21 cells. To determine the broader utility of this compound, we initially evaluated the activity of kaempferol against JEV and dengue virus (DENV) in HEK293T/17 cells. Results [...] Read more.
Kaempferol, a plant-derived flavonoid, has been reported to have activity against Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) in BHK-21 cells. To determine the broader utility of this compound, we initially evaluated the activity of kaempferol against JEV and dengue virus (DENV) in HEK293T/17 cells. Results showed no significant antiviral activity against either virus. We subsequently investigated the activity of kaempferol against both JEV and DENV in BHK-21 cells. Results showed a significant inhibition of JEV infection but, surprisingly, a significant enhancement of DENV infection. The effect of kaempferol on both host protein expression and transcription was investigated and both transcriptional and translational inhibitory effects were observed, although a more marked effect was observed on host cell protein expression. Markedly, while GRP78 was increased in DENV infected cells treated with kaempferol, it was not increased in JEV infected cells treated with kaempferol. These results show that cellular alteration induced by one compound can have opposite effects on viruses from the same family, suggesting the presence of distinct replication strategies for these two viruses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Herbal Medicines as Antivirals)
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