Colombian researchers studied the bioactive compounds found in the mammee (Mammea americana) and the white milkwood (Tabernaemontana cymosa) for their effects on the dengue virus and chikungunya virus. They reported that extracts from the South American plants exerted powerful antiviral effects.
They published their findings in the scientific journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
Efforts to prevent or eradicate the spread of the dengue and chikungunya viruses are hampered by the absence of a specific treatment. Researchers looked for nontoxic compounds with antiviral properties.
Dry ethanolic extracts were acquired from the seeds of mammee and white milkwood. After going through open column chromatographic fractionation, the mammee extract produced coumarin A and B while the milkwood extract produced lupeol acetate and voacangine.
They tested the cytotoxicity of these four compounds using the MTT method. They also conducted antiviral essays before and after treatment. Finally, the extracts' inhibitory effect on Dengue virus and chikungunya virus was measured.
Dosages of less than 200 micrograms per milliliter were shown to have low toxicity.
The compounds coumarin A and coumarin B were shown to greatly inhibit (over 50 percent) infection from both viruses during both strategies. Meanwhile, lupeol acetate and voacangine greatly inhibited (over 70 percent) the dengue infection during the post-treatment strategy.
Coumarins from the mammee could serve as possible antiviral treatments for both dengue and chikungunya fever, while the lupeol acetate and voacangine from white milkwood could be used to treat dengue fever.
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Gómez-Calderón C, Mesa-Castro C, Robledo S, Gómez S, Bolivar-Avila S, Diaz-Castillo F, Martínez-Gutierrez M. ANTIVIRAL EFFECT OF COMPOUNDS DERIVED FROM THE SEEDS OF MAMMEA AMERICANA AND TABERNAEMONTANA CYMOSA ON DENGUE AND CHIKUNGUNYA VIRUS INFECTIONS. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2017;17(1). DOI: 10.1186/s12906-017-1562-1.