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J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2016 Jan;26(1):151-9. doi: 10.4014/jmb.1508.08024.

In Vitro Antiviral Activity of Cinnamomum cassia and Its Nanoparticles Against H7N3 Influenza A Virus.

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Atta-ur-Rahman School of Applied Biosciences (ASAB), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), H-12, Kashmir Highway, Islamabad, Pakistan.
Disease Diagnostic Section, Poultry Research Institute, Rawalpindi, Pakistan.


Nanoparticles have wide-scale applications in various areas, including medicine, chemistry, electronics, and energy generation. Several physical, biological, and chemical methods have been used for synthesis of silver nanoparticles. Green synthesis of silver nanoparticles using plants provide advantages over other methods as it is easy, efficient, and eco-friendly. Nanoparticles have been extensively studied as potential antimicrobials to target pathogenic and multidrug-resistant microorganisms. Their applications recently extended to development of antivirals to inhibit viral infections. In this study, we synthesized silver nanoparticles using Cinnamomum cassia (Cinnamon) and evaluated their activity against highly pathogenic avian influenza virus subtype H7N3. The synthesized nanoparticles were characterized using UVVis absorption spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Cinnamon bark extract and its nanoparticles were tested against H7N3 influenza A virus in Vero cells and the viability of cells was determined by tetrazolium dye (MTT) assay. The silver nanoparticles derived from Cinnamon extract enhanced the antiviral activity and were found to be effective in both treatments, when incubated with the virus prior to infection and introduced to cells after infection. In order to establish the safety profile, Cinnamon and its corresponding nanoparticles were tested for their cytotoxic effects in Vero cells. The tested concentrations of extract and nanoparticles (up to 500 μg/ml) were found non-toxic to Vero cells. The biosynthesized nanoparticles may, hence, be a promising approach to provide treatment against influenza virus infections.


Antiviral activity; Cinnamomum cassia; Cinnamon bark; H7N3; Influenza; Nanoparticles

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