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Molecules. 2013 Aug 9;18(8):9550-66. doi: 10.3390/molecules18089550.

Melaleuca alternifolia concentrate inhibits in vitro entry of influenza virus into host cells.

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  • 1Key Laboratory of Tropical Disease Control of Ministry of Education, Department of Microbiology, Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510080, China. lixh1719@hotmail.com

Abstract

Influenza virus causes high morbidity among the infected population annually and occasionally the spread of pandemics. Melaleuca alternifolia Concentrate (MAC) is an essential oil derived from a native Australian tea tree. Our aim was to investigate whether MAC has any in vitro inhibitory effect on influenza virus infection and what mechanism does the MAC use to fight the virus infection. In this study, the antiviral activity of MAC was examined by its inhibition of cytopathic effects. In silico prediction was performed to evaluate the interaction between MAC and the viral haemagglutinin. We found that when the influenza virus was incubated with 0.010% MAC for one hour, no cytopathic effect on MDCK cells was found after the virus infection and no immunofluorescence signal was detected in the host cells. Electron microscopy showed that the virus treated with MAC retained its structural integrity. By computational simulations, we found that terpinen-4-ol, which is the major bioactive component of MAC, could combine with the membrane fusion site of haemagglutinin. Thus, we proved that MAC could prevent influenza virus from entering the host cells by disturbing the normal viral membrane fusion procedure.

PMID:
23966077
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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