Publication date: Jul 08, 2023
Zika virus (ZIKV) has garnered global attention due to its association with severe congenital defects including microcephaly. However, there are no licensed vaccines or drugs against ZIKV infection. Pregnant women have the greatest need for treatment, making drug safety crucial. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a polyunsaturated ω-3 fatty acid, has been used as a health-care product and dietary supplement due to its potential medicinal properties. Here, we demonstrated that ALA inhibits ZIKV infection in cells without loss of cell viability. Time-of-addition assay revealed that ALA interrupts the binding, adsorption, and entry stages of ZIKV replication cycle. The mechanism is probably that ALA disrupts the membrane integrity of the virions to release ZIKV RNA, inhibiting viral infectivity. Further examination revealed that ALA inhibits DENV-2, HSV-1, influenza virus and SARS-CoV-2 infection dose-dependently. ALA is a promising broad-spectrum antiviral agent.