Guatemalan plants extracts as virucides against HIV-1 infection

Phytomedicine. 2008 Jun;15(6-7):520-4. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2007.10.006. Epub 2008 Feb 20.


Prevention methods to avoid transmission of pathogens, including HIV, are crucial in the control of infectious diseases, not only to block epidemic spread but to avoid long-term treatments leading to emergence of resistances and drug associated side effects. Together with vaccine development, the discovery of new virucidal agents represents a research priority in this setting. In the screening of new compounds with antiviral activity, three Guatemalan plant extracts from Justicia reptans, Neurolaena lobata and Pouteria viridis were evaluated with a classic antiviral assay and were found to inhibit HIV replication. This activity was corroborated by an original recombinant virus assay, leading us to perform a deeper study of the virucidal activity. Active fractions were non-toxic in vitro and also inhibited other enveloped viruses. Moreover, these fractions were able to inhibit the transfer of HIV from dendritic cells (DCs) to lymphocytes, that represents the main way of HIV spread in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acanthaceae / chemistry
  • Antiviral Agents / analysis*
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology
  • Asteraceae / chemistry
  • Cell Line
  • Guatemala
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • HIV-1 / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Phytotherapy*
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Plants, Medicinal / chemistry*
  • Sapotaceae / chemistry


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Plant Extracts