Black tea extracts (BTEs) from four different production areas showed a higher aggregation strength for phosphatidylcholine-based liposomes containing cholesterol used as a viral membrane model. Furthermore, the anti-influenza A virus (IAV) activity of each BTE in vitro demonstrated that although Sri Lanka, Kenya, and Assam had higher anti-IAV activities, Darjeeling had a lower anti-IAV activity, showing a correlation between each BTE and the liposome aggregation strength. Moreover, the antiviral activity strength of BTEs was consistent with the antioxidant activity strength of BTEs, suggesting that the component(s) in black tea that exhibits antioxidant activity would also be the component(s) that accounts for its antiviral activity. Thus, our results propose that BTEs exert their antiviral effects by binding not only hemagglutinin and neuraminidase but also viral membranes directly, especially "cholesterol-rich lipid rafts" and affect the membrane structure, causing the virus to aggregate, thereby inhibiting infection of the host cells.
Keywords: antiviral activity; black tea; influenza A virus; lipid rafts; viral membrane.
© The Author(s) 2022. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Japan Society for Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Agrochemistry.