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Asian Pac J Trop Med. 2014 Sep;7S1:S415-20. doi: 10.1016/S1995-7645(14)60268-6.

Antiviral activity of maca (Lepidium meyenii) against human influenza virus.

Author information

1
Centro de Investigación de la Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Escuela de Medicina, Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas-UPC, Lima, Peru. Electronic address: jdelvall@upc.edu.pe.
2
Servei de Microbiologia, Hospital Vall d'Hebron, Pg. Vall d'Hebron, 119-129, Barcelona 08035, Spain.
3
Departamento Acadómico de Microbiologóa y Parasitologóa, Facultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos (UNMSM), Avda, Venezuela s/n, Lima-1, Peru.
4
Centro de Investigación de la Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Escuela de Medicina, Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas-UPC, Lima, Peru; Centre de Biotecnologia Molecular (CEBIM), Departament d'Enginyeria Quómica, ETSEIB, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) Barcelona Tech, Avda, Diagonal 647, Barcelona E-08028, Spain.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To investigate antiviral activity of maca to reduce viral load in Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells infected with influenza type A and B viruses (Flu-A and Flu-B, respectively).

METHODS:

Maca were extracted with methanol (1:2, v/v). The cell viability and toxicity of the extracts were evaluated on MDCK cells using method MTT assay. Antiviral activity of compounds against Flu-A and Flu-B viruses was assayed using a test for determining the inhibition of the cytopathic effect on cell culture and multiplex RT-PCR.

RESULTS:

The methanol extract of maca showed low cytotoxicity and inhibited influenza-induced cytopathic effect significantly, while viral load was reduced via inhibition of viral growth in MDCK infected cells. Maca contains potent inhibitors of Flu-A and Flu-B with a selectivity index [cytotoxic concentration 50%/IC50] of 157.4 and 110.5, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS:

In vitro assays demonstrated that maca has antiviral activity not only against Flu-A (like most antiviral agents) but also Flu-B viruses, providing remarkable therapeutic benefits.

KEYWORDS:

Antiviral activity; Flu; Influenza virus; Lepidium meyenii; Maca

PMID:
25312160
DOI:
10.1016/S1995-7645(14)60268-6
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