Melittin: a venom-derived peptide with promising anti-viral properties

  • Hamed Memariani
  • Mojtaba MemarianiEmail author
  • Hamideh Moravvej
  • Mohammad Shahidi-Dadras


Despite tremendous advances in the development of anti-viral therapeutics, viral infections remain a chief culprit accounting for ongoing morbidity and mortality worldwide. Natural products, in particular animal venoms, embody a veritable cornucopia of exotic constituents, suggesting an immensurable source of anti-infective drugs. In this context, melittin, the principal constituent in the venom of the European honeybee Apis mellifera, has been demonstrated to exert anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-infective, and adjuvant properties. To our knowledge, there is no review appertaining to effects of melittin against viruses, prompting us to synopsize experimental investigations on its anti-viral activity throughout the past decades. Accumulating evidence indicates that melittin curbs infectivity of a diverse array of viruses including coxsackievirus, enterovirus, influenza A viruses, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), herpes simplex virus (HSV), Junín virus (JV), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), and tobacco mosaic virus (TMV). However, medication safety, different routes of administrations, and molecular mechanisms behind the anti-viral activity of melittin should be scrutinized in future studies.


Venom Bee Melittin Anti-viral activity Drug 


Author contributions

All authors contributed equally to writing and revision of the manuscript. The authors reviewed and approved the final submitted manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Skin Research CenterShahid Beheshti University of Medical SciencesTehranIran

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