There are a several emerging and re-emerging RNA viruses that are prevalent around the world for which there are no licensed vaccines or antiviral drugs. Zika virus (ZIKV) is an example of an emerging virus that has become a significant concern worldwide because of its association with severe congenital malformations and neurological disorders in adults. Several polyphenol-rich extracts from plants were used as nutraceuticals which exhibit potent in vitro antiviral effects. Here, we demonstrated that the papaya pulp extracted from fruit inhibits the infection of ZIKV in human cells without loss of cell viability. At the non-cytotoxic concentrations, papaya pulp extract has the ability to reduce the virus progeny production in ZIKV-infected human cells by at least 4-log, regardless of viral strains tested. Time-of-drug-addition assays revealed that papaya pulp extract interfered with the attachment of viral particles to the host cells. With a view of preserving the properties of papaya pulp over time, lactic fermentation based on the use of bacterial strains 64, 75 and 56 was performed and the resulting fermented papaya pulp samples were tested on ZIKV. We found that lactic fermentation of papaya pulp causes a moderate loss of antiviral activity against ZIKV in a bacterial strain-dependent manner. Whereas IC of the papaya pulp extract was 0.3 mg/mL, we found that fermentation resulted in IC up to 4 mg/mL. We can conclude that papaya pulp possesses antiviral activity against ZIKV and the fermentation process has a moderate effect on the antiviral effect.

References

PubMed