Anti-herpes simplex virus type 1 activity of Houttuynoid A, a flavonoid fromHouttuynia cordataThunb

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Early events in herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) infection reactivate latent human immunodeficiency virus, Epstein–Barr virus, and human papillomavirus in the presence of acyclovir (ACV). The common use of nucleoside analog medications, such as ACV and pencyclovir, has resulted in the emergence of drug-resistant HSV-1 strains in clinical therapy. Therefore, new antiherpetics that can inhibit early events in HSV-1 infection should be developed. An example of this treatment is Houttuynia cordata Thunb. water extract, which can inhibit HSV-1 infection through multiple mechanisms. In this study, the anti-HSV-1 activity of Houttuynoid A, a new type of flavonoid isolated from H. cordata, was investigated. Three different assays confirmed that this compound could exhibit strong in vitro anti-HSV-1 activity. One assay verified that this compound could inhibit HSV-1 multiplication and prevent lesion formation in a HSV-1 infection mouse model. Mechanism analysis revealed that this compound could inactivate HSV-1 infectivity by blocking viral membrane fusion. Moreover, Houttuynoid A exhibited antiviral activities against other alpha herpes viruses, such as HSV-2 and varicella zoster virus (VZV). In conclusion, Houttuynoid A may be a useful antiviral agent for HSV-1.

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