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Identification of fukinolic acid from Cimicifuga heracleifolia and its derivatives as novel antiviral compounds against enterovirus A71 infection

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-136
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Antimicrobial Agents
Issue number2
Early online date29 Jul 2018
DateAccepted/In press - 14 Jul 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print - 29 Jul 2018
DatePublished (current) - 1 Feb 2019


Human enterovirus 71 (EV-A71) infections cause a wide array of diseases ranging from diarrhoea and rashes to hand-foot-and-mouth disease and, in rare cases, severe neurological disorders. No specific antiviral drug therapy is currently available. Extracts from 75 Chinese medicinal plants selected for antiviral activity based on the Chinese pharmacopeia and advice from traditional Chinese medicine clinicians were tested for activity against EV-A71. The aqueous extract of the rhizome of Cimicifuga heracleifolia (Sheng Ma) and Arnebia euchroma (Zi Cao) showed potent antiviral activity. The active fractions were isolated by bioassay-guided purification, and identified by a combination of high-resolution mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance. Fukinolic acid and cimicifugic acid A and J, were identified as active anti-EV-A71 compounds for C. heracleifolia, whereas for A. euchroma, two caffeic acid derivatives were tentatively deduced. Commercially available fukinolic acid analogues such as L-chicoric acid and D-chicoric also showed in vitro micromolar activity against EV-A71 lab-strain and clinical isolates.

    Research areas

  • Cimicifuga heracleifolia, Arnebia euchroma, Fukinolic acid, Cimicifugic acid, Enterovirus 71, Traditional Chinese medicine

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