Screening of plants from the Iberian Peninsula for anti-human immunodeficiency virus (-HIV) activity revealed that aqueous extract of Tuberaria lignosa gave positive results. Following an activity-guided procedure, the crude extract was counterextracted, and the subsequent fractions obtained tested for their anti-HIV activity in vitro. The bioassay-guided fractionation of the extract afforded an ellagitannin enriched fraction (EEF) isolated for the first time from this species. This EEF exhibited antiviral activity against HIV in MT-2 infected cells, with an IC(50) value of 2.33mug/ml (selectivity index greater than 21). Inhibition of HIV infection by EEF appears to be mediated by CD4 down-regulation, the main receptor for HIV entry. CXCR4 and CCR5 receptors were not affected by EEF, explaining why EEF is able to inhibit R5 and X4 infections.