Arch Virol. 2018 Apr 9. doi: 10.1007/s00705-018-3830-x. [Epub ahead of print]
Functional growth inhibition of influenza A and B viruses by liquid and powder components of leaves from the subtropical plant Melia azedarach L.

Nerome K1, Shimizu K2, Zukeran S3, Igarashi Y4, Kuroda K2, Sugita S5, Shibata T6, Ito Y7, Nerome R3.
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We evaluated the anti-influenza-virus effects of Melia components and discuss the utility of these components. The effects of leaf components of Melia azedarach L. on viruses were examined, and plaque inhibition tests were performed. The in vivo efficacy of M. azedarach L. was tested in a mouse model. Leaf components of Melia azedarach L. markedly inhibited the growth of various influenza viruses. In an initial screening, multiplication and haemagglutination (HA) activities of H1N1, H3N2, H5, and B influenza viruses were inactivated by the liquid extract of leaves of M. azedarach L. (MLE). Furthermore, plaque inhibition titres of H1N1, H3N2, and B influenza viruses treated with MLE ranged from 103.7 to 104.2. MLE possessed high plaque-inhibitory activity against pandemic avian H5N1, H7N9, and H9N2 vaccine candidate strains, with a plaque inhibition titre of more than 104.2. Notably, the buoyant density decreased from 1.175 to 1.137 g/cm3, and spikeless particles appeared. We identified four anti-influenza virus substances: pheophorbide b, pheophorbide a, pyropheophorbide a, and pheophytin a. Photomorphogenesis inside the envelope may lead to removal of HA and neuraminidase spikes from viruses. Thus, MLE could efficiently remove floating influenza virus in the air space without toxicity. Consistent with this finding, intranasal administration of MLE in mice significantly decreased the occurrence of pneumonia. Additionally, leaf powder of Melia (MLP) inactivated influenza viruses and viruses in the intestines of chickens. MLE and MLP may have applications as novel, safe biological disinfectants for use in humans and poultry.

PMID: 29633076 DOI: 10.1007/s00705-018-3830-x