Identification of alpha-linolenic acid as a broad-spectrum antiviral against zika, dengue, herpes simplex, influenza virus and SARS-CoV-2 infection.

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.

Concepts Keywords
Global Alpha-linolenic acid
Herpes Antiviral
Influenza Entry
Medicinal Membrane integrity
Pregnant Zika virus


Type Source Name
drug DRUGBANK Alpha-Linolenic Acid
disease MESH dengue
disease MESH herpes simplex
disease MESH influenza
disease MESH SARS-CoV-2 infection
pathway REACTOME SARS-CoV-2 Infection
disease MESH congenital defects
disease MESH microcephaly
disease MESH ZIKV infection
disease VO pregnant women
disease IDO cell
disease VO viability
disease VO time
disease IDO assay
disease IDO replication
disease IDO infectivity
disease VO dose

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