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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2011;2011:284795. doi: 10.1155/2011/284795. Epub 2011 Feb 20.

Tylosema esculentum (Marama) Tuber and Bean Extracts Are Strong Antiviral Agents against Rotavirus Infection.

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1
Department of Microbiology, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Maribor, Pivola 10, 2311 Hoče, Slovenia.

Abstract

Tylosema esculentum (marama) beans and tubers are used as food, and traditional medicine against diarrhoea in Southern Africa. Rotaviruses (RVs) are a major cause of diarrhoea among infants, young children, immunocompromised people, and domesticated animals. Our work is first to determine anti-RV activity of marama bean and tuber ethanol and water extracts; in this case on intestinal enterocyte cells of human infant (H4), adult pig (CLAB) and adult bovine (CIEB) origin. Marama cotyledon ethanolic extract (MCE) and cotyledon water extract (MCW) without RV were not cytotoxic to all cells tested, while seed coat and tuber extracts showed variable levels of cytotoxicity. Marama cotyledon ethanolic and water extracts (MCE and MCW, resp.) (≥0.1 mg/mL), seed coat extract (MSCE) and seed coat water extract (MSCW) (0.01 to 0.001 mg/mL), especially ethanolic, significantly increased cell survival and enhanced survival to cytopathic effects of RV by at least 100% after in vitro co- and pre-incubation treatments. All marama extracts used significantly enhanced nitric oxide release from H4 cells and enhanced TER (Ω/cm(2)) of enterocyte barriers after coincubation with RV. Marama cotyledon and seed coat extracts inhibited virion infectivity possibly through interference with replication due to accumulation of nitric oxide. Marama extracts are therefore promising microbicides against RV.

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