Efficacy of algal Ecklonia cava extract against viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV)

Fish Shellfish Immunol. 2018 Jan;72:273-281. doi: 10.1016/j.fsi.2017.10.044. Epub 2017 Nov 9.


The inhibition efficacy of an extract from Ecklonia cava (E. cava) was studied to determine whether the extract and compounds exhibited inhibitory activity against VHSV in the fathead minnow (FHM) cell line and following oral administration to the olive flounder. Based on its low toxicity and effective concentration, the E. cava extract (Ext) and compounds (eckol and phlorofucofuroeckol A) were selected for further analysis. In the plaque reduction assay, simultaneous co-exposure of VHSV to Ext, eckol and phlorofucofuroeckol A showed a higher level of inhibition than the pre- and post-exposure groups. The antiviral activity in the FHM cell line was time-dependent and increased with the exposure time with the virus and Ext or the compounds. In the in vivo experiments, different Ext concentrations were orally administered to the olive flounder. In trial I, the relative percent survival (RPS) following oral administration of 500 and 50 μg/g/day of Ext was 31.25% and 12.50%, respectively. In trial II, the RPS for 1000, 500 and 50 μg/g/day of Ext was 31.57%, 0% and 0%, respectively. In trial III, the RPS after 1 and 2 weeks (1000 μg/g/day) of exposure to Ext was 26.31% and 31.57%, respectively. Oral administration of Ext (1000 μg/g/day) significantly induced inflammatory cytokine responses (IL-1β, IL-6 and IFN-γ) at 1 and 2 days post-oral administration (dpa). Additionally, IFN-α/β (7-12 dpa), ISG15 (2, 7 and 10 dpa) and Mx (7-12 dpa) were significantly activated in the olive flounder. In conclusion, we demonstrated an inhibitory ability of the E. cava extract and compounds against VHSV in the FHM cell line. Moreover, oral administration of the E. cava extract to the olive flounder enhanced antiviral immune responses and the efficacy of protection against VHSV, resulting in an anti-viral status in the olive flounder.

Keywords: Antiviral immune responses; Ecklonia cava (E. cava); Olive flounder; Seaweed; Viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Animals
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Line
  • Cyprinidae / immunology*
  • Cyprinidae / virology
  • Flatfishes / immunology*
  • Flatfishes / virology
  • Hemorrhagic Septicemia, Viral / drug therapy*
  • Hemorrhagic Septicemia, Viral / immunology
  • Immunomodulation
  • Novirhabdovirus / drug effects*
  • Phaeophyta / chemistry*


  • Antiviral Agents