Influenza A virus (IAV) continues to threaten human health. To date, two classes of antiviral drugs have been approved to treat IAV infection, but the continuous emergence of the drug-resistant IAV mutant reinforces the need to develop new antiviral drugs. In this study, we aimed to investigate the anti-IAV activity of an aqueous mixture of Agrimonia pilosa and Galla rhois extracts (APRG64). We demonstrated that APRG64 significantly reduced the IAV-induced cytopathic effect, the transcription/expression of viral proteins, and the production of infectious viral particles. Among nine major components of APRG64, apigenin was identified as the main ingredient responsible for the anti-IAV activity. Interestingly, APRG64 and apigenin inhibited the cell attachment and entry of virus and polymerase activity. Importantly, intranasal administration of APRG64 or apigenin strongly reduced viral loads in the lungs of IAV-infected mice. Furthermore, oral administration of APRG64 significantly reduced the level of viral RNAs and the expression level of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the lungs, which protected mice from IAV-induced mortality. In conclusion, APRG64 could be an attractive antiviral drug to treat IAV infection.
- Antiviral drug
- Influenza A virus