The influenza virus is highly contagious in human populations around the world and results in approximately 250,000-500,000 deaths annually. Vaccines and antiviral drugs are commonly used to protect susceptible individuals. However, the antigenic mismatch of vaccines and the emergence of resistant strains against the currently available antiviral drugs have generated an urgent necessity to develop a novel broad-spectrum anti-influenza agent. Here we report that Aronia melanocarpa (black chokeberry, Aronia), the fruit of a perennial shrub species that contains several polyphenolic constituents, possesses in vitro and in vivo efficacy against different subtypes of influenza viruses including an oseltamivir-resistant strain. These anti-influenza properties of Aronia were attributed to two constituents, ellagic acid and myricetin. In an in vivo therapeutic mouse model, Aronia, ellagic acid, and myricetin protected mice against lethal challenge. Based on these results, we suggest that Aronia is a valuable source for antiviral agents and that ellagic acid and myricetin have potential as influenza therapeutics.
Keywords: Antiviral; Influenza virus; Polyphenol; Therapeutics.
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