Influenza virus is a highly contagious zoonotic respiratory disease that causes seasonal outbreaks each year and unpredictable pandemics occasionally with high morbidity and mortality rates, posing a great threat to public health worldwide. Besides the limited effect of vaccines, the problem is exacerbated by the lack of drugs with strong antiviral activity against all flu strains. Currently, there are two classes of antiviral drugs available that are chemosynthetic and approved against influenza A virus for prophylactic and therapeutic treatment, but the appearance of drug-resistant virus strains is a serious issue that strikes at the core of influenza control. There is therefore an urgent need to develop new antiviral drugs. Many reports have shown that the development of novel bioactive plant extracts and microbial extracts has significant advantages in influenza treatment. This paper comprehensively reviews the development and effects of chemosynthetic drugs, plant extracts, and microbial extracts with influenza antiviral activity, hoping to provide some references for novel antiviral drug design and promising alternative candidates for further anti-influenza drug development.
Keywords: chemosynthetic drugs; drug resistance; influenza virus; microbial metabolites; plant extracts.