An interesting Zika update from Mosquito Squad by Dr. Nicola M. Parry, BVSC, MRCVS, MSC, DIPACVP.
A molecule in green tea, known as epigallocatechin (EGCG), blocks the entry of a Brazilian strain of Zika virus into host cells, and may hold potential benefit for prevention of Zika virus infections, a new study has found.
“The mechanism by which this inhibition occurs is probably related to the direct interaction of the drug with lipid envelope, leading to a subsequent destruction of the virus particle,” the authors write.
“Of increasing concern, the Zika virus disease outbreak in Brazil has been linked to birth defects, in particular microcephaly. However, no vaccine or approved drug is available for the treatment or prevention of Zika virus infection. With this in mind, Carneiro and colleagues conducted a study to examine the effect of EGCG on entry of Zika virus into cells.
“EGCG is a polyphenol that is found in large quantities in green tea, and has been shown to have activity against many viruses, including HIV, by preventing viral entry into host cells. The researchers used a Brazilian strain of Zika virus to infect cells in a cell culture system in the laboratory. They mixed the virus with different concentrations of EGCG and added the different mixtures to the cells.
“They found that higher concentrations of EGCG (100 μM or greater), in particular, prevented entry of more than 90% of the Zika virus into the cells.
“According to the authors, this is the first study to show the potential benefit of EGCG in protecting against Zika virus infection. They also note that EGCG has been shown to be safe when given to healthy individuals, and that studies in rats have also suggested that EGCG may even be safe for administration to pregnant women.
“Nevertheless, the authors conclude that further studies to assess the bioavailability and safety of EGCG, especially in pregnant women, should be performed before its clinical use can be considered.