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Anti-inflammatory effects of punicalagin in influenza A virus infection


A recent study shows that punicalagin extracted from the pomegranate could be used as a supplemental drug to current anti-influenza A drugs.

Influenza A virus causes influenza in birds as well as mammals. The natural host is supposed to be birds, but it can infect several mammalian species, including humans and swine.

Most known subtypes of this virus only cause the flu in birds. However, when a bird-to-human infection occurs, the virus can cause severe pneumonia in humans leading to high mortality. This fact has led researchers to search for new drugs that can help combat this infection.

Very recently, China has detected the first case of influenza A of the H10N3 subtype in humans, although it maintains that the risk of spread is very low.

When the virus infects us, an excessive immune response in the overproduction of pro-inflammatory cytokines can aggravate the complications of influenza virus infection.

Thus, immune-targeted therapies can be an appropriate strategy to fight against this disease. Recently, at the University of Medical Science in Iran, Farzad Aghaei and co-workers have studied the effects of punicalagin as an antiviral agent against the influenza A virus.

They demonstrated that punicalagin extracted from pomegranate reduces the pro-inflammatory cytokines which are abundantly secreted due to the infection with influenza virus.

These results will help to investigate the use of punicalagin for the prevention of severe pneumonia and cytokine dysregulation induced by the virus, using the compound as a supplemental drug to current anti-influenza A drugs.

Article: Punicalagin inhibits pro-inflammatory cytokines induced by influenza A virus. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eujim.2021.101324