Special Infectious Agent Unit in King Fahd Medical Research Center at King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, has pursed the anti-viral project field to optimize the group of medicinal plants for human-infectious diseases. We have begun virtually in this field since COVID-19 pandemic MESHD
, besides our divergence in the infectious agents. In this study and based on the previous review, Hypericum perforatum (St. Johns Wort) and Echinacea (gaia HERBS(R)) were tested in vitro using Vero E6 cells for their anti-viral effects against the newly identified Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 MESHD
(SARS-CoV-2) through its infectious cycle from 0 to 48 hours post infection. The hypericin (0.9 mg) of H. perforatum and the different parts (roots, seeds, aerial) of two types of Echinacea species (Echinacea purpurea and Echinacea angustifolia) were examined their efficacy in certain concentration and under light-dependent anti-viral activities to measure the inhibition of the SARS-CoV-2 mRNA expression of RNA-dependent RNA polymerase PROTEIN
( RdRP PROTEIN
) gene and the viral load with quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), and to assess the neutralization of the SARS-CoV-2 spike PROTEIN
receptor binding on cell culture assay. Interestingly, the mixture (H.E.) of 100 mg/mL of H. perforatum and Echinacea was tested too on SARS-CoV-2 and showed crucial anti-viral activity competing H. perforatum then Echinacea effects as anti-viral treatment. Therefore, the results of gaia HERBS(R) products, H. perforatum and Echinacea species, applied in this study showed significant anti-viral and virucidal effects in the following order of potency: H. perforatum, H.E., and Echinacea on SARS-CoV-2 infectious cycle; and will definitely required a set up of clinical trial with specific therapeutic protocol based on the outcome of this study.
Author SummaryAfter an outbreak of Rift Valley Fever MESHD
in the Southern region of Saudi Arabia, particularly in May 2003, Special Infectious Agents Unit (SIAU) was established and founded by Prof. Esam Ibraheem Azhar. This unit contains a full range of facilities including Biosafety Level 3, allows him and his research groups to ambulate and culture risk group 3 viruses in Saudi Arabia & Gulf States for the first time. Since that time, SIAU MESHD
and our international collaboration have been extended to implement a standard protocols in the infectious agents diagnostics procedure through different mode of collaboration including exchange of expertise, joint research program and more recently a technology transfer agreements with number of international institute sharing same interests. Furthermore, we have been engaged in number of researches related to Hajj & Umrah plus number of national services with the Ministry of Health (MOH) through which, we utilize our Mobile biosafety level 3 Lab to enhance the diagnostics of MERS CoV in the Holly sites during Hajj since 2014.
In our SIAU and with a powerful team, we have excellent researches made valuable contributions through in vivo and in vitro animal and human studies, and several human viral pathogens which are a threat to global health security due to millions of pilgrims visiting Saudi Arabia every year from 182 countries: with particular areas of interests in: Alkhurma Viral Hemorrhagic Fever MESHD
, Dengue Hemorrhagic Fever Viruses, Rift Valley Fever Virus, MERS-CoV MESHD
and more recently the new global infectious diseases threat, Sever Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 MESHD