African swine fever virus (ASFV) is one of the most devastating diseases of domestic pigs for which no effective vaccines are available. Flavonoids, natural products isolated from plants, have been reported to have significant in vitro and in vivo antiviral activity against different viruses. Here, we tested the antiviral effect of five flavonoids on the replication of ASFV in Vero cells. Our results showed a potent, dose-dependent anti-ASFV effect of apigenin in vitro. Time-of-addition experiments revealed that apigenin was highly effective at the early stages of infection. Apigenin reduced the ASFV yield by more than 99.99 % when it was added at 1 hpi. The antiviral activity of apigenin was further investigated by evaluation of ASFV protein synthesis and viral factories. This flavonoid inhibited ASFV-specific protein synthesis and viral factory formation. ASFV-infected cells continuously treated with apigenin did not display a cytopathic effect. Further studies addressing the use of apigenin in vivo are needed.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 15, 2016
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