Propolis and its potential against SARS-CoV-2 infection mechanisms and COVID-19 disease: Running title: Propolis against SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19

Biomed Pharmacother. 2020 Nov;131:110622. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2020.110622. Epub 2020 Aug 17.

Abstract

Propolis, a resinous material produced by honey bees from plant exudates, has long been used in traditional herbal medicine and is widely consumed as a health aid and immune system booster. The COVID-19 pandemic has renewed interest in propolis products worldwide; fortunately, various aspects of the SARS-CoV-2 infection mechanism are potential targets for propolis compounds. SARS-CoV-2 entry into host cells is characterized by viral spike protein interaction with cellular angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and serine protease TMPRSS2. This mechanism involves PAK1 overexpression, which is a kinase that mediates coronavirus-induced lung inflammation, fibrosis, and immune system suppression. Propolis components have inhibitory effects on the ACE2, TMPRSS2 and PAK1 signaling pathways; in addition, antiviral activity has been proven in vitro and in vivo. In pre-clinical studies, propolis promoted immunoregulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines, including reduction in IL-6, IL-1 beta and TNF-α. This immunoregulation involves monocytes and macrophages, as well as Jak2/STAT3, NF-kB, and inflammasome pathways, reducing the risk of cytokine storm syndrome, a major mortality factor in advanced COVID-19 disease. Propolis has also shown promise as an aid in the treatment of various of the comorbidities that are particularly dangerous in COVID-19 patients, including respiratory diseases, hypertension, diabetes, and cancer. Standardized propolis products with consistent bioactive properties are now available. Given the current emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and limited therapeutic options, propolis is presented as a promising and relevant therapeutic option that is safe, easy to administrate orally and is readily available as a natural supplement and functional food.

Keywords: Anti-inflammatory; Antiviral; COVID-19; PAK1 blocker; Propolis; SARS-CoV-2.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiviral Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology*
  • Betacoronavirus / drug effects
  • Betacoronavirus / isolation & purification
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / complications
  • Coronavirus Infections / drug therapy*
  • Coronavirus Infections / virology
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Functional Food
  • Humans
  • Macrophages / drug effects
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Monocytes / drug effects
  • Monocytes / immunology
  • Pandemics
  • Pneumonia, Viral / complications
  • Pneumonia, Viral / drug therapy*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / virology
  • Propolis / administration & dosage
  • Propolis / pharmacology*
  • SARS-CoV-2

Substances

  • Antiviral Agents
  • Propolis

Supplementary concepts

  • COVID-19 drug treatment