Investigation of the Antiviral Effects of Saussurea lappa Root Extract against SARS-CoV-2 Virus

Ulbegi Polat H., Serhatli M., Taş Ekiz A., Abaci İ., Aksoy Ö., Çakirca G., ...More

Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, vol.67, no.14, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 67 Issue: 14
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/mnfr.202200804
  • Journal Name: Molecular Nutrition and Food Research
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, PASCAL, BIOSIS, Biotechnology Research Abstracts, CAB Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts Core, EMBASE, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Keywords: antiviral, COVID-19, herbal medicine, neutralization, root extracts, SARS-CoV-2, Saussurea lappa
  • Yıldız Technical University Affiliated: No


Scope: The purpose of this study was to look into the antiviral activity of a plant extract derived from the roots of the Saussurea lappa as a food supplement against SARS-CoV-2 infection. Methods and results: Vero E6 cells are employed in the study to test the neutralizing effect of Saussurea lappa extract against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. For anti-viral activity detection, a sensitive real-time cell analyzer (xCELLigence RTCA) with a high repetition rate is used. A challenge experiment in mice is planned as a result of the in vitro analysis. A challenge test against SARS-CoV-2 is performed with 10 adult female K18-hACE2 transgenic mice in each group for this purpose. The mice in the S. lappa Group are gavaged 2 days before the virus is administered intranasally (i.n.). The control group received PBS instead of the extract. SARS-CoV-2 virus is administered i.n. under anesthesia for the first 3 days of the experiment, and S. lappa extract was administered by gavage in the afternoon. On the 10th day, mice in the S. lappa group survived the study, whereas animals in the control group grew ill and/or died. In this study, the extract protects the mice against the SARS-CoV-2 virus in 90% of the cases. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that the Saussurea plant has antiviral effects against SARS-CoV-2 in vitro and in animal models.