Bruguiera gymnorhiza (L.) Lam. at the Forefront of Pharma to Confront Zika Virus and Microbial Infections-An In Vitro and In Silico Perspective

Molecules. 2021 Sep 23;26(19):5768. doi: 10.3390/molecules26195768.


The recent emergence of Zika virus (ZIKV) in Brazil and the increasing resistance developed by pathogenic bacteria to nearly all existing antibiotics should be taken as a wakeup call for the international authority as this represents a risk for global public health. The lack of antiviral drugs and effective antibiotics on the market triggers the need to search for safe therapeutics from medicinal plants to fight viral and microbial infections. In the present study, we investigated whether a mangrove plant, Bruguiera gymnorhiza (L.) Lam. (B. gymnorhiza) collected in Mauritius, possesses antimicrobial and antibiotic potentiating abilities and exerts anti-ZIKV activity at non-cytotoxic doses. Microorganisms Escherichia coli ATCC 25922, Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 27853, Klebsiella pneumoniae ATCC 70603, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 43300 (MRSA), Salmonella enteritidis ATCC 13076, Sarcina lutea ATCC 9341, Proteus mirabilis ATCC 25933, Bacillus cereus ATCC 11778 and Candida albicans ATCC 26555 were used to evaluate the antimicrobial properties. Ciprofloxacin, chloramphenicol and streptomycin antibiotics were used for assessing antibiotic potentiating activity. ZIKVMC-MR766NIID (ZIKVGFP) was used for assessing anti-ZIKV activity. In silico docking (Autodock 4) and ADME (SwissADME) analyses were performed on collected data. Antimicrobial results revealed that Bruguiera twig ethyl acetate (BTE) was the most potent extract inhibiting the growth of all nine microbes tested, with minimum inhibitory concentrations ranging from 0.19-0.39 mg/mL. BTE showed partial synergy effects against MRSA and Pseudomonas aeruginosa when applied in combination with streptomycin and ciprofloxacin, respectively. By using a recombinant ZIKV-expressing reporter GFP protein, we identified both Bruguiera root aqueous and Bruguiera fruit aqueous extracts as potent inhibitors of ZIKV infection in human epithelial A549 cells. The mechanisms by which such extracts prevented ZIKV infection are linked to the inability of the virus to bind to the host cell surface. In silico docking showed that ZIKV E protein, which is involved in cell receptor binding, could be a target for cryptochlorogenic acid, a chemical compound identified in B. gymnorhiza. From ADME results, cryptochlorogenic acid is predicted to be not orally bioavailable because it is too polar. Scientific data collected in this present work can open a new avenue for the development of potential inhibitors from B. gymnorhiza to fight ZIKV and microbial infections in the future.

Keywords: ADME; antimicrobial; antiviral; envelope protein; mangrove plants; pharmacokinetics.