The in vitro and in vivo antiviral properties of combined monoterpene alcohols against West Nile Virus infection

A Pliego Zamora1,2, J Edmonds2, A Khromykh2 and SJ Ralph1

  1. School of Medical Sciences, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia
  2. Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre, School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

West Nile Virus (WNV) is a mosquito-borne flavivirus that can cause neuroinvasive disease in humans and animals for which no therapies are currently available. We studied an established combination of monoterpene alcohols (CMA) derived from Melaleuca alternifolia, against WNV infection. The in vitro results show that CMA exhibits virucidal activity, as well as reduces the viral titres and percentage of infected cells. The antiviral mechanism of action of CMA was studied. We found that CMA did not alter the intracellular pH, neither induced apoptosis, but did induce cell cycle arrest in the G0/G1-phase although that was not the antiviral mechanism. Furthermore, we tested CMA in vivo using IRF 3-/-/7-/- mice and it was found that CMA treatment significantly delayed morbidity due to WNV infection, reduced the loss of body weight and reduced the viral titres in brain. These findings suggest that CMA could be a therapeutic agent against WNV infection.