SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) represent an alarming threat as they show altered biological behavior and may escape vaccination effectiveness. Broad-spectrum antivirals could play an important role to control infections. The activity of Echinacea purpurea (Echinaforce® extract, EF) against (i) VOCs B1.1.7 (alpha), B.1.351.1 (beta), P.1 (gamma), B1.617.2 (delta), AV.1 (Scottish), B1.525 (eta), and B.1.1.529.BA1 (omicron); (ii) SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein-pseudotyped viral particles and reference strain OC43 as well as (iii) wild type SARS-CoV-2 (Hu-1) was analyzed. Molecular dynamics (MD) were applied to study the interaction of Echinacea's phytochemical markers with known pharmacological viral and host cell targets. EF extract broadly inhibited the propagation of all investigated SARS-CoV-2 VOCs as well as the entry of SARS-CoV-2 pseudoparticles at EC50's ranging from 3.62 to 12.03 µg/mL. The preventive addition of 25 µg/mL EF to epithelial cells significantly reduced sequential infection with SARS-CoV-2 (Hu-1) and OC43. MD analyses showed constant binding affinities to VOC-typical S protein variants for alkylamides, caftaric acid, and feruloyl-tartaric acid in EF extract and interactions with serine protease TMPRSS-2. EF extract demonstrated stable virucidal activity across seven tested VOCs, likely due to the constant affinity of the contained phytochemical substances to all spike variants. A possible interaction of EF with TMPRSS-2 partially would explain the cell protective benefits of the extract by the inhibition of membrane fusion and cell entry. EF may therefore offer a supportive addition to vaccination endeavors in the control of existing and future SARS-CoV-2 virus mutations.

Broad Antiviral Effects of Echinacea purpurea against SARS-CoV-2 Variants of Concern and Potential Mechanism of Action / S. Vimalanathan, M. Shehata, K. Sadasivam, S. Delbue, M. Dolci, E. Pariani, S. D'Alessandro, S. Pleschka. - In: MICROORGANISMS. - ISSN 2076-2607. - 10:11(2022 Oct 29), pp. 2145.1-2145.18. [10.3390/microorganisms10112145]

Broad Antiviral Effects of Echinacea purpurea against SARS-CoV-2 Variants of Concern and Potential Mechanism of Action

S. Delbue;M. Dolci;E. Pariani;S. D'Alessandro;
2022

Abstract

SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VOCs) represent an alarming threat as they show altered biological behavior and may escape vaccination effectiveness. Broad-spectrum antivirals could play an important role to control infections. The activity of Echinacea purpurea (Echinaforce® extract, EF) against (i) VOCs B1.1.7 (alpha), B.1.351.1 (beta), P.1 (gamma), B1.617.2 (delta), AV.1 (Scottish), B1.525 (eta), and B.1.1.529.BA1 (omicron); (ii) SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein-pseudotyped viral particles and reference strain OC43 as well as (iii) wild type SARS-CoV-2 (Hu-1) was analyzed. Molecular dynamics (MD) were applied to study the interaction of Echinacea's phytochemical markers with known pharmacological viral and host cell targets. EF extract broadly inhibited the propagation of all investigated SARS-CoV-2 VOCs as well as the entry of SARS-CoV-2 pseudoparticles at EC50's ranging from 3.62 to 12.03 µg/mL. The preventive addition of 25 µg/mL EF to epithelial cells significantly reduced sequential infection with SARS-CoV-2 (Hu-1) and OC43. MD analyses showed constant binding affinities to VOC-typical S protein variants for alkylamides, caftaric acid, and feruloyl-tartaric acid in EF extract and interactions with serine protease TMPRSS-2. EF extract demonstrated stable virucidal activity across seven tested VOCs, likely due to the constant affinity of the contained phytochemical substances to all spike variants. A possible interaction of EF with TMPRSS-2 partially would explain the cell protective benefits of the extract by the inhibition of membrane fusion and cell entry. EF may therefore offer a supportive addition to vaccination endeavors in the control of existing and future SARS-CoV-2 virus mutations.
Echinacea; SARS-CoV-2; Spike protein; TMPRSS-2; antiviral; prevention; variants of concern
Settore MED/07 - Microbiologia e Microbiologia Clinica
Settore MED/04 - Patologia Generale
Settore MED/42 - Igiene Generale e Applicata
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/946340
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