Naturally Occurring Terpenes: A Promising Class of Organic Molecules to Address Influenza Pandemics

Nat Prod Bioprospect. 2021 May 3;1-15. doi: 10.1007/s13659-021-00306-z. Online ahead of print.


Since the olden times, infectious diseases have largely affected human existence. The newly emerged infections are excessively caused by viruses that are largely associated with mammal reservoirs. The casualties of these emergencies are significantly influenced by the way human beings interact with the reservoirs, especially the animal ones. In our review we will consider the evolutionary and the ecological scales of such infections and their consequences on the public health, with a focus on the pathogenic influenza A virus. The nutraceutical properties of fungal and plant terpene-like molecules will be linked to their ability to lessen the symptoms of viral infections and shed light on their potential use in the development of new drugs. New challenging methods in antiviral discovery will also be discussed in this review. The authors believe that pharmacognosy is the "wave of future pharmaceuticals", as it can be continually produced and scaled up under eco-friendly requirements. Further diagnostic methods and strategies however are required to standardise those naturally occurring resources.

Keywords: Antivirals; Fungal terpenes; Influenza A; Plant terpenes; Virus.

Publication types

  • Review