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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

In vitro activity of a Combretum micranthum extract against herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2.

The authors demonstrate in vitro antiviral activity of a methanolic extract of Combretum micranthum leaves against HSV-1 and HSV-2. This activity is present only in the extract dissolved 7 days before the assay, but not in the freshly prepared extract, thus indicating the presence of inactive precursors which undergo spontaneous transformations into active compounds. The alkaline autooxidation of the methanolic extract promotes this rapid transformation. The precursors have been identified as condensed catechinic tannins, which, under alkaline conditions, suffer rapid cleavage, intramolecular rearrangement to catechinic acid and autooxidation. The alkaline autooxidation products of the methanolic extract of C. micranthum and those of the synthetic catechinic acid show similar I.R. and U.V. absorption curves, as well as similar anti-HSV-1 and -HSV-2 activities. EC50s of catechinic acid autooxidation products against HSV-1 and HSV-2 replication were 2 micrograms/ml and 4 micrograms/ml, respectively, when cell cultures were treated with the compound during virus infection.[1]


  1. In vitro activity of a Combretum micranthum extract against herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2. Ferrea, G., Canessa, A., Sampietro, F., Cruciani, M., Romussi, G., Bassetti, D. Antiviral Res. (1993) [Pubmed]
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