Background: The rapid spread of novel coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2 or nCoV has caused countries all over the world to impose lockdowns and undertake stringent preventive measures. This new positive-sense single-stranded RNA strain of coronavirus spreads through droplets of saliva and nasal discharge.
Purpose: US FDA has authorized the emergency use of Remdesivir looking at the increasing number of cases of COVID-19, however there is still no drug approved to treat COVID-19. An alternative way of treatment could be the use of naturally derived molecules with known antiviral properties.
Method: We reviewed the antiviral activities of two polyphenols derived from tea, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) from green tea and theaflavins from black tea. Both green tea and black tea polyphenols have been reported to exhibit antiviral activities against various viruses, especially positive-sense single-stranded RNA viruses.
Results: Recent studies have revealed the possible binding sites present on SARS-CoV-2 and studied their interactions with tea polyphenols. EGCG and theaflavins, especially theaflavin-3,3'-digallate (TF3) have shown a significant interaction with the receptors under consideration in this review. Some docking studies further emphasize on the activity of these polyphenols against COVID-19.
Conclusion: This review summarizes the available reports and evidences which support the use of tea polyphenols as potential candidates in prophylaxis and treatment of COVID-19.
Keywords: COVID-19; EGCG; SARS-CoV-2; Tea polyphenols; Theaflavin.
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