Anti-foot-and-mouth disease virus effects of Chinese herbal kombucha in vivo

Braz J Microbiol. Oct-Dec 2015;46(4):1245-55. doi: 10.1590/S1517-838246420140701. Epub 2015 Oct 9.


The foot and mouth disease virus (FMDV) is sensitive to acids and can be inactivated by exposure to low pH conditions. Spraying animals at risk of infection with suspensions of acid-forming microorganisms has been identified as a potential strategy for preventing FMD. Kombucha is one of the most strongly acid-forming symbiotic probiotics and could thus be an effective agent with which to implement this strategy. Moreover, certain Chinese herbal extracts are known to have broad-spectrum antiviral effects. Chinese herbal kombucha can be prepared by fermenting Chinese herbal extracts with a kombucha culture. Previous studies demonstrated that Chinese herbal kombucha prepared in this way efficiently inhibits FMDV replication in vitro. To assess the inhibitory effects of Chinese herbal kombucha against FMDV in vitro, swine challenged by intramuscular injection with 1000 SID50 of swine FMDV serotype O strain O/China/99 after treatment with Chinese herbal kombucha were partially protected against infection, as demonstrated by a lack of clinical symptoms and qRT-PCR analysis. In a large scale field trial, spraying cattle in an FMD outbreak zone with kombucha protected against infection. Chinese herbal kombucha may be a useful probiotic agent for managing FMD outbreaks.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiviral Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Antiviral Agents / metabolism
  • Cattle
  • China
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Fermentation
  • Foot-and-Mouth Disease / pathology
  • Foot-and-Mouth Disease / prevention & control*
  • Foot-and-Mouth Disease / virology
  • Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus / drug effects*
  • Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus / isolation & purification
  • Injections, Intramuscular
  • Nasal Sprays
  • Oral Sprays
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage*
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Plant Extracts / metabolism
  • Probiotics / administration & dosage*
  • Probiotics / metabolism
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Swine
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Viral Load


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Nasal Sprays
  • Oral Sprays
  • Plant Extracts