Background: Avian infectious bronchitis (IB) is a disease that can result in huge economic losses in the poultry industry. The high level of mutations of the IB virus (IBV) leads to the emergence of new serotypes and genotypes, and limits the efficacy of routine prevention. Medicinal plants, or substances derived from them, are being tested as options in the prevention of infectious diseases such as IB in many countries. The objective of this study was to investigate extracts of 15 selected medicinal plants for anti-IBV activity.
Results: Extracts of S. montana, O. vulgare, M. piperita, M. officinalis, T. vulgaris, H. officinalis, S. officinalis and D. canadense showed anti-IBV activity prior to and during infection, while S. montana showed activity prior to and after infection. M. piperita, O. vulgare and T. vulgaris extracts had > 60 SI. In further studies no virus plaques (plaque reduction rate 100%) or cytopathogenic effect (decrease of TCID50 from 2.0 to 5.0 log10) were detected after IBV treatment with extracts of M. piperita, D. canadense and T. vulgaris at concentrations of extracts ≥0.25 cytotoxic concentration (CC50) (P < 0.05). Both PFU number and TCID50 increased after the use of M. piperita, D. canadense, T. vulgaris and M. officinalis extracts, the concentrations of which were 0.125 CC50 and 0.25 CC50 (P < 0.05). Real-time PCR detected IBV RNA after treatment with all plant extracts using concentrations of 1:2 CC50, 1:4 CC50 and 1:8 CC50. Delta cycle threshold (Ct) values decreased significantly comparing Ct values of 1:2 CC50 and 1:8 CC50 dilutions (P < 0.05).
Conclusions: Many extracts of plants acted against IBV prior to and during infection, but the most effective were those of M. piperita, T. vulgaris and D. canadense .
Keywords: Antiviral activity; Avian infectious bronchitis; Plant extracts.