OPEN Foundation

In vitro antiviral effects of Peganum harmala seed extract and its total alkaloids against Influenza virus

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on email


This research was aimed to evaluate the in vitro antiviral effect and the mechanism of the effect of Peganum. harmala seeds extract against influenza A virus infection using Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells. In this research, ethyl alcohol extract of P. harmala seeds and its total alkaloids was prepared. The potential antiviral activity of the extract and its total alkaloids against influenza A/Puerto Rico/8/34 (H1N1; PR8) virus was assessed. The mode of action of the extract to inhibit influenza replication was investigated using virucidal activity, hemagglutination inhibition assay, time of addition assays, RNA replication, western blot analysis and RNA polymerase blocking assay. The crud extract of P. harmala seed and its total alkaloids showed the best inhibitory effect against influenza A virus replication in MDCK cells using MTT assay, TCID50 method and hemagglutination assay. Our results indicated that the extract inhibits viral RNA replication and viral polymerase activity but did not effect on hemagglutination inhibition and virucidal activity. This study showed that, in vitro antiviral activity of P. harmala seed extract against influenza virus is most probably associated with inhibiting viral RNA transcription. Therefore, this extract and its total alkaloid should be further characterized to be developed as anti-influenza A virus agent.

Moradi, M. T., Karimi, A., Rafieian-Kopaei, M., & Fotouhi, F. (2017). In vitro antiviral effects of Peganum harmala seed extract and its total alkaloids against Influenza virus. Microbial Pathogenesis. 10.1016/j.micpath.2017.06.014
Link to full text

OPEN Foundation

Attend the Interdisciplinary Conference on Psychedelic Research

ICPR features world-leading experts from many academic disciplines, including psychiatry, psychology, neuroscience, anthropology, ethnobotany, and philosophy who come together to give a scientific conference for academics, therapists, researchers, clinicians, policymakers, and members of the public. Get your ICPR 2022 ticket here and use the code OPENBLOG100 at checkout for a €100 discount on all tickets.

More Info


Subscribe to our new OPEN-Minded newsletter to stay in the loop, hear about our events, and become a part of a community dedicated to advancing psychedelics.

By clicking subscribe, I confirm to receive emails from the OPEN Foundation and agree with its privacy policy.