Antiviral activity of maca (Lepidium meyenii) against human influenza virus
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Objective To investigate antiviral activity of maca to reduce viral load in Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells infected with influenza type A and B viruses (Flu-A and Flu-B, respectively). Methods Maca were extracted with methanol (1:2, v/v). The cell viability and toxicity of the extracts were evaluated on MDCK cells using method MTT assay. Antiviral activity of compounds against Flu-A and Flu-B viruses was assayed using a test for determining the inhibition of the cytopathic effect on cell culture and multiplex RT-PCR. Results The methanol extract of maca showed low cytotoxicity and inhibited influenza-induced cytopathic effect significantly, while viral load was reduced via inhibition of viral growth in MDCK infected cells. Maca contains potent inhibitors of Flu-A and Flu-B with a selectivity index [cytotoxic concentration 50%/IC50] of 157.4 and 110.5, respectively. Conclusions In vitro assays demonstrated that maca has antiviral activity not only against Flu-A (like most antiviral agents) but also Flu-B viruses, providing remarkable therapeutic benefits.
CitationDel Valle, J., Pumarola, T., Alzamora, L., del Valle, L. Antiviral activity of maca (Lepidium meyenii) against human influenza virus. "Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine", 2014, vol. 7, núm. Suppl 1, p. S415-S420.