The mosquito-borne chikungunya virus (CHIKV) causes chikungunya fever, with clinical presentations such as severe back and small joint pain, and debilitating arthritis associated with crippling pains that persist for weeks and even years. Although there are several studies to evaluate the efficacy of drugs against CHIKV, the treatment for chikungunya fever is mainly symptom-based and no effective licensed vaccine or antiviral are available. Here, we investigated the antiviral activity of three types of flavonoids against CHIKV in vitro replication. Three compounds: silymarin, quercetin and kaempferol were evaluated for their in vitro antiviral activities against CHIKV using a CHIKV replicon cell line and clinical isolate of CHIKV of Central/East African genotype. A cytopathic effect inhibition assay was used to determine their activities on CHIKV viral replication and quantitative reverse transcription PCR was used to calculate virus yield. Antiviral activity of effective compound was further investigated by evaluation of CHIKV protein expression using western blotting for CHIKV nsP1, nsP3, and E2E1 proteins. Briefly, silymarin exhibited significant antiviral activity against CHIKV, reducing both CHIKV replication efficiency and down-regulating production of viral proteins involved in replication. This study may have important consequence for broaden the chance of getting the effective antiviral for CHIKV infection.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.