Protective effect of ginseng polysaccharides on influenza viral infection

PLoS One. 2012;7(3):e33678. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0033678. Epub 2012 Mar 19.


Ginseng polysaccharide has been known to have multiple immunomodulatory effects. In this study, we investigated whether Panax ginseng polysaccharide (GP) would have a preventive effect on influenza infection. Administration of mice with GP prior to infection was found to confer a survival benefit against infection with H1N1 (A/PR/8/34) and H3N2 (A/Philippines/82) influenza viruses. Mice infected with the 2009 H1N1 virus suspended in GP solution showed moderately enhanced survival rates and lower levels of lung viral titers and the inflammatory cytokine (IL-6). Daily treatment of vaccinated mice with GP improved their survival against heterosubtypic lethal challenge. This study demonstrates the first evidence that GP can be used as a remedy against influenza viral infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dogs
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype*
  • Influenza A Virus, H3N2 Subtype*
  • Mice
  • Orthomyxoviridae Infections / prevention & control*
  • Panax / chemistry*
  • Polysaccharides / chemistry
  • Polysaccharides / pharmacology*


  • Polysaccharides