CoronaVirus and Black Cumin

Mol Biol Rep. 2014 Mar;41(3):1703-11. doi: 10.1007/s11033-014-3019-7. Epub 2014 Jan 12.

The effects of Nigella sativa (Ns), Anthemis hyalina (Ah) and Citrus sinensis (Cs) extracts on the replication of coronavirus and the expression of TRP genes family.

Ulasli M1Gurses SABayraktar RYumrutas OOztuzcu SIgci MIgci YZCakmak EAArslan A.


Extracts of Anthemis hyalina (Ah), Nigella sativa (Ns) and peels of Citrus sinensis (Cs) have been used as folk medicine to fight antimicrobial diseases. To evaluate the effect of extracts of Ah, Ns and Cs on the replication of coronavirus (CoV) and on the expression of TRP genes during coronavirus infection, HeLa-CEACAM1a (HeLa-epithelial carcinoembryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecule 1a) cells were inoculated with MHV-A59 (mouse hepatitis virus-A59) at moi of 30. 1/50 dilution of the extracts was found to be the safe active dose. ELISA kits were used to detect the human IL-8 levels. Total RNA was isolated from the infected cells and cDNA was synthesized. Fluidigm Dynamic Array nanofluidic chip 96.96 was used to analyze the mRNA expression of 21 TRP genes and two control genes. Data was analyzed using the BioMark digital array software. Determinations of relative gene expression values were carried out by using the 2(-∆∆Ct) method (normalized threshold cycle (Ct) value of sample minus normalized Ct value of control). TCID50/ml (tissue culture infectious dose that will produce cytopathic effect in 50% of the inoculated tissue culture cells) was found for treatments to determine the viral loads. The inflammatory cytokine IL-8 level was found to increase for both 24 and 48 h time points following Ns extract treatment. TRPA1, TRPC4, TRPM6, TRPM7, TRPM8 and TRPV4 were the genes which expression levels changed significantly after Ah, Ns or Cs extract treatments. The virus load decreased when any of the Ah, Ns or Cs extracts was added to the CoV infected cells with Ah extract treatment leading to undetectable virus load for both 6 and 8 hpi. Although all the extract treatments had an effect on IL-8 secretion, TRP gene expression and virus load after CoV infection, it was the Ah extract treatment that showed the biggest difference in virus load. Therefore Ah extract is the best candidate in our hands that contains potential treatment molecule(s).

Free PMC Article

Int J Immunopharmacol.2000 Sep;22(9):729-40.

Protective effect of black seed oil from Nigella sativa against murine cytomegalovirus infection.

Salem ML1, Hossain MS.


In this study, antiviral effect of black seed oil (BSO) from Nigella sativa was investigated using murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) as a model. The viral load and innate immunity mediated by NK cells and Mφ during early stage of the infection were analyzed. Intraperitoneal (i.p.) administration of BSO to BALB/c mice, a susceptible strain of MCMV infection, strikingly inhibited the virus titers in spleen and liver on day 3 of infection with 1×10(5) PFU MCMV. This effect coincided with an increase in serum level of IFN-gamma. Although BSO treatment decreased both number and cytolytic function of NK cells on day 3 of infection, it increased numbers of Mφ and CD4(+) T cells. On day 10 of infection, the virus titer was undetectable in spleen and liver of BSO-treated mice, while it was detectable in control mice. Although spleen of both control and BSO-treated mice showed similar CTL activities on day 10 after infection, serum level of IFN-gamma in BSO-treated mice was higher. Furthermore, BSO treatment upregulated suppressor function of Mφ in spleen. These results show that BSO exhibited a striking antiviral effect against MCMV infection which may be mediated by increasing of Mφ number and function, and IFN-gamma production.


Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med.2016 Sep 29;13(6):144-148. doi: 10.21010/ajtcam.v13i6.20. eCollection 2016.


Oyero OG1, Toyama M2, Mitsuhiro N2, Onifade AA3, Hidaka A2, Okamoto M2, Baba M2.



Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection became curable because of the development of direct acting antivirals (DAAs). However, the high cost of DAAs has greatly impeded their potential impact on the treatment of HCV infection. As a result, hepatitis C will continue to cause substantial morbidity, and mortality among chronically infected individuals in low and middle income countries. Thus, urgent need exists for developing cheaper drugs available to hepatitis C patients in these countries.


Alpha-zam, an indigenous herbal formulation from Nigella sativaseed, was examined for its anti-HCV activity and cytotoxicity in genotype 1b HCV replicon cells. The antiviral activity was determined by luciferase expression and viral RNA synthesis, while the cytotoxicity was assessed by viable cell number and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase RNA synthesis in the replicon cells.


Alpha-zam was found to be a selective inhibitor of HCV replication. The 50% effective dilution and 50% cytotoxic dilution of Alpha-zam were 761- and < 100-fold, respectively, in the subgenomic replicon cells LucNeo#2. Its selective inhibition of HCV was also confirmed by HCV RNA levels in LucNeo#2 and in the full-genome HCV replicon cells NNC#2 using real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction. Furthermore, the anti-HCV activity of Alpha-zam was not due to the induction of interferon.


Alpha-zam selectively inhibits HCV replication and therefore has potential for a novel antiviral agent against HCV infection.

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