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Dengue is the most important arthropod-borne viral disease worldwide. Infection with any of the four dengue virus (DENV) serotypes can be asymptomatic or lead to disease with clinical symptoms ranging from undifferentiated and self-limiting fever to severe dengue disease, which can be fatal in some cases. Currently, no specific antiviral compound is available for treating DENV. The aim of this study was to identify compounds in plants from Paraguayan folk medicine with inhibitory effects against DENV. We found high virucidal activity (50% maximal effective concentration (EC50) value of 24.97 µg/mL) against DENV-2 in the ethanolic extract of the roots of Solanum sisymbriifolium Lam. (Solanaceae) without an evident cytotoxic effect on Vero E6 cells. Three saponins isolated from the root extract showed virucidal effects (EC50 values ranging from 24.9 to 35.1 µg/mL) against DENV-2. Additionally, the saponins showed inhibitory activity against yellow fever virus (EC50 values ranging from 126 to 302.6 µg/mL), the prototype virus of the Flavivirus genus, suggesting that they may also be effective against other members of this genus. Consequently, these saponins may be lead compounds for the development of antiviral agents.


G G Figueiredo, O A Coronel, A C Trabuco, D E Bazán, R R Russo, N L Alvarenga, V H Aquino. Steroidal saponins from the roots of Solanum sisymbriifolium Lam. (Solanaceae) have inhibitory activity against dengue virus and yellow fever virus. Brazilian journal of medical and biological research = Revista brasileira de pesquisas medicas e biologicas. 2021;54(7):e10240

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PMID: 34008751

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