P. Ninfali, A. Antonelli, M. Magnani
Aug 21, 2020
This review summarizes the latest advancements in phytochemicals as functional antiviral agents. We focused on flavonoids, like apigenin, vitexin, quercetin, rutin and naringenin, which have shown a wide range of biological effects including antiviral activities. The molecular mechanisms of their antiviral effects mainly consist in the inhibition of viral neuraminidase, proteases and DNA/RNA polymerases, as well as in the modification of various viral proteins. Mixtures of different flavonoids or combination of flavonoids with antiviral synthetic drugs provide an enhancement of their antiviral effects. Recent strategies in drug delivery significantly contribute to overcoming the low bioavailability of flavonoids. Frequent viral infections worldwide have led to the need for new effective antiviral agents, which can be identified among the various phytochemicals. In this light, screening the antiviral activities of a cocktail of flavonoids would be advantageous in order to prevent viral infections and improve current antiviral therapies.