Over the centuries, infectious diseases caused by viruses have seriously threatened human health globally. Viruses are responsible not only for acute infections but also many chronic infectious diseases. To prevent diseases caused by viruses, the discovery of effective antiviral drugs, in addition to vaccine development, is important. Green tea catechins (GTCs) are polyphenolic compounds from the leaves of Camelliasinensis. In recent decades, GTCs have been reported to provide various health benefits against numerous diseases. Studies have shown that GTCs, especially epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), have antiviral effects against diverse viruses. The aim of this review is to summarize the developments regarding the antiviral activities of GTCs, to discuss the mechanisms underlying these effects and to offer suggestions for future research directions and perspectives on the antiviral effects of EGCG.
Keywords: antiviral activity; chronic infectious diseases; green tea catechins; mechanism.