Genetic diversity-independent neutralization of pandemic viruses (e.g. HIV), potentially pandemic (e.g. H5N1 strain of influenza) and carcinogenic (e.g. HBV and HCV) viruses and possible agents of bioterrorism (variola) by enveloped virus neutralizing compounds (EVNCs)

Department of Medicine, University of Massachusettes, Worcester, MA 01605, USA.
Vaccine (Impact Factor: 3.62). 07/2008; 26(24):3055-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2007.12.008
Source: PubMed


Genetic diversity and hypermutation contribute to difficulties in developing a vaccine against viruses like HIV and influenza. There are currently no known immune correlates of protection against HIV. This has made the development of a vaccine against HIV that would provide sterilizing immunity in the near future an impossible task. The abandonment of a recent AIDS vaccine human trial due to a failure to elicit a protective sterilising immune response confirms that empirical attempts to develop a vaccine may result in failures. Also the difficulty in predicting the next pandemic strain of influenza may make it difficult to respond rapidly should there be an outbreak. Therefore, it is time to explore broad spectrum agents that can target either the lipid portion of the envelope or the sugar moieties of the glycoproteins or the rafts (regions within viral and cell envelopes where a higher concentration of the glycoproteins exist). Broad spectrum agents that can serve as disrafters or neutralize the viral infectivity by binding to the envelope lipid or sugar moieties will not be affected by the vagaries of hypermutation of surface antigens. This is because the post-translation modification is a host function. Presented here is a review of recently reported agents present in pomegranate juice (polyphenols, beta-sitosterol, sugars and ellagic acid) and fulvic acid, described here as the envelope virus neutralising compounds (EVNCs) and complex molecules like lectins and mucins. Pomegranate juice was previously reported to inactivate HIV and further shown by our group to inactivate influenza, herpes viruses and poxviruses. A formulation consisting of fulvic acid, a complex mixture of compounds was previously reported to render vaccinia virus, HIV and SARS virus non-infectious. Recently, both fulvic acid and pomegranate juice have been shown to inactivate genetically diverse strains of influenza including H5N1, further confirming the broad spectrum nature of these agents. How EVNCs will be used in developing a vaccine achieving sterilizing immunity or prophylaxis needs to be researched.

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    • "Kotwal [54] suggested that pomegranate juice can neutralize the infectivity of diverse enveloped viruses and a number of subtypes of a given enveloped virus, indicating potential for development as a treatment option that can be broadly effective against pandemic viruses like HIV, potentially pandemic viruses like influenza, and some carcinogenic viruses. It was shown that influenza A/HK/x31(H3N2), influenza A/Vietnam/1203/04 (H5N1), and a reassortant x31 containing the NS gene segment of an H5N1 isolate were inactivated when treated for 5 minutes at 37°C with pomegranate juice [54]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Pomegranates have been known for hundreds of years for their multiple health benefits, including antimicrobial activity. The recent surge in multidrug-resistant bacteria and the possibility of widespread global virus pandemics necessitate the need for additional preventative and therapeutic options to conventional drugs. Research indicates that pomegranates and their extracts may serve as natural alternatives due to their potency against a wide range of bacterial and viral pathogens. Nearly every part of the pomegranate plant has been tested for antimicrobial activities, including the fruit juice, peel, arils, flowers, and bark. Many studies have utilized pomegranate peel with success. There are various phytochemical compounds in pomegranate that have demonstrated antimicrobial activity, but most of the studies have found that ellagic acid and larger hydrolyzable tannins, such as punicalagin, have the highest activities. In some cases the combination of the pomegranate constituents offers the most benefit. The positive clinical results on pomegranate and suppression of oral bacteria are intriguing and worthy of further study. Much of the evidence for pomegranates' antibacterial and antiviral activities against foodborne pathogens and other infectious disease organisms comes from in vitro cell-based assays, necessitating further confirmation of in vivo efficacy through human clinical trials.
    Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 05/2013; 2013:606212. DOI:10.1155/2013/606212 · 1.88 Impact Factor
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    • "Besides sensory properties, pomegranate shows interesting nutritional and health-promoting features (Viuda-Martos et al., 2010). In particular, the antioxidant properties of the fruit (Seeram et al., 2008), which contains anti-carcinogenic (Bell and Hawthorne, 2008), antimicrobial (Reddy et al., 2007), antiviral (Kotwal, 2007), anti-inflammatory (Giménez-Bastida et al., 2012), and anti-atherosclerotic compounds, even able to reduce blood pressure and LDL (low-density lipoprotein) oxidation (Aviram et al., 2004), are well appreciated. The above health-promoting features are mainly attributed to the high total level of polyphenolic compounds, especially ellagitannins (Gil et al., 2000; Tzulker et al., 2007). "
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    ABSTRACT: Two strains (POM1 and C2) or LP09 of Lactobacillus plantarum, which were previously isolated from tomatoes and carrots, and another commercial strain of L. plantarum (LP09), were selected to singly ferment (30°C for 120h) pomegranate juice (PJ) under standardized protocol. PJs were further stored at 4°C for 30days. Filtered PJ, not added of starters (unstarted PJ), was used as the control. After fermentation, all starters grew to ca. 9.0LogCFU/mL. Viable cells of strain LP09 sharply decreased during storage. The other two strains survived to ca. 7.0 and 8.0LogCFU/mL. Lactic acid bacteria consumed glucose, fructose, malic acid, and branched chain and aromatic amino acids. The concentration of free fatty acids increased for all started PJs. Compared to unstarted PJ, color and browning indexes of fermented PJs were preferable. The concentration of total polyphenolic compounds and antioxidant activity were the highest for started PJs, with some differences that depended on the starter used. Fermentation increased the concentration of ellagic acid, and enhanced the antimicrobial activity. Fermented PJs scavenged the reactive oxygen species generated by H2O2 and modulated the synthesis of immune-mediators from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). Unstarted and fermented PJs inhibited the growth of K562 tumor cells. The sensory attributes of fermented PJs were preferred. The fermentation of pomegranate juice would represent a novel technology option, which joins health-promoting, sensory and preservative features to exploit the potential of pomegranate fruits.
    International journal of food microbiology 03/2013; 163(2-3):184-192. DOI:10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2013.03.002 · 3.08 Impact Factor
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    • "Several studies have confirmed the excellent organoleptic and nutritional properties of pomegranates (Al-Said et al., 2009; He et al., 2010; Ozgen et al., 2008; Shwartz et al., 2009; Martínez et al., 2012). Moreover, the traditional importance of pomegranate fruit as a medicinal plant is currently the subject of renewed research because of its anti-carcinogenic, anti-microbial and anti-viral properties (Al-Maiman and Ahnad, 2002; Bell and Hawthorne, 2008; Kotwal, 2007; Reddy et al., 2007; Legua et al., 2012). Although knowledge about the importance of pomegranate in human nutrition has increased in recent years, the external colour of the fruit has not been studied in detail. "

    Scientia Horticulturae 02/2013; 150(360):364. · 1.37 Impact Factor
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