Carrageenan polysaccharide has been reported to be able to inhibit the infection and replication of many different kinds of viruses. Here, we demonstrated that a 2 kDa κ-carrageenan oligosaccharide (CO-1) derived from the carrageenan polysaccharide, effectively inhibited influenza A (H1N1) virus replication in MDCK cells (selectivity index >25.0). Moreover, the 2 kDa CO-1 inhibited influenza A virus (IAV) replication better than that of 3 kDa and 5 kDa κ-carrageenan oligosaccharides (CO-2 and CO-3). IAV multiplication was suppressed by carrageenan oligosaccharide treatment in a dose-dependent manner. Carrageenan oligosaccharide CO-1 did not bind to the cell surface of MDCK cells but inactivated virus particles after pretreatment. Different to the actions of carrageenan polysaccharide, CO-1 could enter into MDCK cells and did not interfere with IAV adsorption. CO-1 also inhibited IAV mRNA and protein expression after its internalization into cells. Moreover, carrageenan oligosaccharide CO-1 had an antiviral effect on IAV replication subsequent to viral internalization but prior to virus release in one replication cycle. Therefore, inhibition of IAV intracellular replication by carrageenan oligosaccharide might be an alternative approach for anti-influenza A virus therapy.
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