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Comparison Between In Vitro Antiviral Effect Of Mexican Propolis And Three Commercial Flavonoids Against Canine Distemper Virus

María de Jesús González-Búrquez, Francisco Rodolfo González-Díaz, Carlos Gerardo García-Tovar, Liborio Carrillo-Miranda, Carlos Ignacio Soto-Zárate, María Margarita Canales-Martínez, José Guillermo Penieres-Carrillo, Tonatiuh Alejandro Crúz-Sánchez, Salvador Fonseca-Coronado

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Propolis is a resin that honey bees (Apis mellifera) produce by mixing wax, exudates collected from tree shoots, pollen, and enzymes. It has been used for its biological properties against pathogenic microorganisms including those of viral origin. In the present study, we demonstrate the antiviral effect of Mexican propolis, as well as of the three commercial flavonoids (quercetin, naringenin, and pinocembrin) present in its composition, in cell cultures infected with Canine Distemper Virus. The treatments were carried out with propolis, flavonoids individually, and a mixture of the three flavonoids at three different times. Antiviral activity was evaluated by the inhibition of the relative expression of the virus nucleoprotein gene (Real-Time qPCR) and by the determination of cellular viability (MTT assay). Propolis applied before infection decreased viral expression (0.72 versus 1.0, 1.65, and 1.75 relative expressions) and correlated with increased cell viability (0.314 versus 0.215, 0.259, and 0.237 absorbance units (AU)). The administration of a flavonoid mixture containing the three commercial flavonoids before infection induces a slight decrease in viral expression (0.93 versus 1, 1.42, and 1.82 relative expressions); however, it does not improve cellular viability (0.255 versus 0.247, 0.282, and 0.245 AU). Quercetin administrated at the same time of infection decreases viral expression (0.90 versus 1.0, 3.25, and 1.02 relative expressions) and improves cellular viability (0.294 versus 0.240, 0.250, and 0.245 AU). Pinocembrin and naringenin individually did not show any antiviral activity at the administration times evaluated in this study. The present work is the first in vitro study of the effect of propolis in Canine Distemper Virus and demonstrated the antiviral activity of Mexican propolis, in addition to the synergy that exists between the three flavonoids on cell viability and the expression of the nucleoprotein virus gene.