Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine and BioMed Central.

Open Access Research article

Prophylactic effect of herbal-marine compound (HESA-A) on influenza A virus infectivity

Parvaneh Mehrbod12, Aini Ideris12*, Abdul Rahman Omar12 and Mohd Hair-Bejo12

Author Affiliations

1 Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang Selangor, Malaysia

2 Institute of Bioscience, Universiti Putra Malaysia, 43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014, 14:131  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-131

Published: 7 April 2014



Influenza virus is still a severe respiratory disease affecting human and other species. As conventional drugs are not recommended for long time because of side effects and drug resistance occurrence, traditional medication has been focused as alternative remedy. HESA-A is a natural compound from herbal-marine origin. Previous studies have reported the therapeutic properties of HESA-A on psoriasis vulgaris and different types of cancers and we also showed its anti-inflammatory effects against influenza A infection.


This study was designed to investigate the potential properties of HESA-A as prophylaxis or treatment. To investigate the prophylaxis or treatment activities of HESA-A, Madin-Darby Canine Kidney (MDCK) cells were exposed to HESA-A and influenza A virus in different manners of exposure and different time intervals. The results were evaluated by MTT and HA assays.


It was found that HESA-A is much more effective against influenza cytopathic effects when it is applied for prophylaxis and also in concurrent treatment (p ≤ 0.05) but not in post-infection treatment (p ≥ 0.05).


In conclusion, HESA-A is significantly effective against influenza replication in prophylaxis application affecting the virus penetration/adsorption to the cell without any toxic effect on the cell viability.

HESA-A; H1N1; Influenza virus; HA; MTT