Antiviral activity of ethanol extracts of Ficus benjamina and its fractions in vitro
The antiviral activity of Ficus benjamina ethanol leaf extract and its fractions against Herpes Simplex Virus -1 and 2 (HSV-1, HSV-2), Varicella-Zoster Virus (VZV), Murine Sarcoma Virus (MuSV) and Moloney Murine Leukemia Virus (MuLV) were investigated in vitro. Ficus binjamina is known to be resistant to various plant viruses (1). Leaf extracts of F. binjamina inhibited all studied viruses. The fraction eluted with 80%-MeOH completely blocked HSV-1, HSV-2. There was an indirect evidence for strong interactions between the plant extracts and the viruses and weak interactions with the cell surface. It is suggested that plant extracts exerted their anti-herpetic effect mainly by blocking the virus access to the host cells. Three flavonoids from this fraction are thought to be responsible for antiviral activities. Identification of their structures is in progress. The fraction eluted with 20%- MeOH (polysaccharide fraction) significantly inhibited VZV, MuSV and MuLV, whereas the fraction eluted with 60%- MeOH (polyphenol fraction) significantly inhibited MuSV and MuLV.
References: 1. Petrov D.B., Gerberov S.A., Nechaev S.T., Gubarev D.K (1974) Virus infection of decorative plants, Journal of Botany, 4: 23–26.