Bergamottin, a bioactive component of bergamot, inhibits SARS-CoV-2 infection in golden Syrian hamsters

Antiviral Res. 2022 Aug;204:105365. doi: 10.1016/j.antiviral.2022.105365. Epub 2022 Jun 19.


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused an ongoing pandemic, coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19), which has become a major global public health event. Antiviral compounds remain the predominant means of treating COVID-19. Here, we reported that bergamottin, a furanocoumarin originally found in bergamot, exhibited inhibitory activity against SARS-CoV-2 in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo. Bergamottin interfered with multiple stages of virus life cycles, specifically blocking the SARS-CoV-2 spike-mediated membrane fusion and effectively reducing viral RNA synthesis. Oral delivery of bergamottin to golden Syrian hamsters at dosages of both 50 mg/kg and 75 mg/kg reduced the SARS-CoV-2 load in nasal turbinates and lung tissues. Pathological damage caused by viral infection was also ameliorated after bergamottin treatment. Overall, our study provides evidence of bergamottin as a promising natural compound, with broad-spectrum anti-coronavirus activity, that could be further developed in the fight against COVID-19 infection during the current pandemic.

Keywords: Antiviral; Bergamottin; Inhibitor; Natural products; SARS-CoV-2.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • COVID-19* / drug therapy
  • Cricetinae
  • Furocoumarins* / pharmacology
  • Mesocricetus
  • SARS-CoV-2


  • Furocoumarins
  • bergamottin