Antiviral Res

. 2022 Jun 19;105365.
doi: 10.1016/j.antiviral.2022.105365. Online ahead of print.
Bergamottin, a bioactive component of bergamot, inhibits SARS-CoV-2 infection in golden Syrian hamsters

Minmin Zhou 1 , Yang Liu 2 , Junyuan Cao 1 , Siqi Dong 1 , Yuxia Hou 1 , Yan Yu 3 , Qiuyan Zhang 2 , Yueli Zhang 4 , Xiaoying Jia 1 , Bo Zhang 1 , Gengfu Xiao 1 , Gang Li 5 , Wei Wang 6



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.