Aqueous extract from a Chaga medicinal mushroom, Inonotus obliquus (higher Basidiomycetes), prevents herpes simplex virus entry through inhibition of viral-induced membrane fusion

Int J Med Mushrooms. 2013;15(1):29-38. doi: 10.1615/intjmedmushr.v15.i1.40.


Chaga medicinal mushroom, Inonotus obliquus, a popular prescription in traditional medicine in Europe and Asia, was used to reduce inflammation in the nasopharynx and to facilitate breathing. The aqueous extract from I. obliquus (AEIO) exhibited marked decrease in herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection (the 50% inhibitory concentration was 3.82 μg/mL in the plaque reduction assay and 12.29 μg/mL in the HSV-1/blue assay) as well as safety in Vero cells (the 50% cellular cytotoxicity was > 1 mg/mL, and selection index was > 80). Using a time course assay, effective stage analysis, and fusion inhibition assay, the mechanism of anti-HSV activity was found against the early stage of viral infection through inhibition of viral-induced membrane fusion. Therefore, AEIO could effectively prevent HSV-1 entry by acting on viral glycoproteins, leading to the prevention of membrane fusion, which is different from nucleoside analog antiherpetics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Agaricales / chemistry*
  • Animals
  • Antiviral Agents / chemistry
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology*
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Membrane Fusion / drug effects*
  • Simplexvirus / drug effects*
  • Simplexvirus / physiology
  • Vero Cells
  • Virus Internalization / drug effects*
  • Water


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Water