Inhibition of Influenza A Virus Infection by Fucoidan Targeting Viral Neuraminidase and Cellular EGFR Pathway

Sci Rep. 2017 Jan 17;7:40760. doi: 10.1038/srep40760.


Development of novel anti-influenza A virus (IAV) drugs with high efficiency and low toxicity is critical for preparedness against influenza outbreaks. Herein, we investigated the anti-IAV activities and mechanisms of fucoidan in vitro and in vivo. The results showed that a fucoidan KW derived from brown algae Kjellmaniella crassifolia effectively blocked IAV infection in vitro with low toxicity. KW possessed broad anti-IAV spectrum and low tendency of induction of viral resistance, superior to the anti-IAV drug amantadine. KW was capable of inactivating virus particles before infection and blocked some stages after adsorption. KW could bind to viral neuraminidase (NA) and inhibit the activity of NA to block the release of IAV. KW also interfered with the activation of EGFR, PKCα, NF-κB, and Akt, and inhibited both IAV endocytosis and EGFR internalization in IAV-infected cells, suggesting that KW may also inhibit cellular EGFR pathway. Moreover, intranasal administration of KW markedly improved survival and decreased viral titers in IAV-infected mice. Therefore, fucoidan KW has the potential to be developed into a novel nasal drop or spray for prevention and treatment of influenza in the future.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology
  • Cytopathogenic Effect, Viral
  • Dogs
  • Drug Resistance, Viral
  • Endocytosis / drug effects
  • ErbB Receptors / metabolism*
  • Influenza A virus / drug effects*
  • Influenza A virus / physiology*
  • Madin Darby Canine Kidney Cells
  • Mice
  • Neuraminidase / metabolism*
  • Orthomyxoviridae Infections / metabolism
  • Orthomyxoviridae Infections / virology
  • Polysaccharides / chemistry
  • Polysaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects*
  • Virus Replication / drug effects*


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Polysaccharides
  • fucoidan
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Neuraminidase