Virus infection is one of the major threats to human health and can be avoided by minimizing exposure to infectious viruses. Viral clearance of pharmaceutical products and sanitization of skin and mucosal surfaces would reduce such exposures. Even with such care, virus infection does occur, requiring effective treatments by antiviral or virucidal agents. Natural products, in particular ingredients of foods and drinks we normally consume or metabolites present in human body at low concentrations, would have advantage over synthetic drugs as antiviral agents for safety concerns. For this reason, we have been studying natural products for their effects on virus inactivation and growth. Such natural products, which we have been focusing, include gallate derivatives, caffeine present in coffee, caffeic acid present in coffee and various fruits, ascorbic and dehydroascorbic acids and a cell metabolite, arginine. Here we will review our work on antiviral and virucidal activities of these compounds and the mechanism of their antiviral and virucidal effects.
Keywords: Antiviral reagent, gallate, coffee, ascorbic acid, virus inactivation, arginine
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