Antiviral effect of the egg wax of Amblyomma cajennense (Acari: Ixodidae)
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The control of viral infections, especially those caused by influenza viruses, is of great interest in Public Health. Bio prospection has shown the presence of active principles in the hemolymph of arthropods, and in the salivary gland of ticks, and some of these are of interest for the development of new pharmacological drugs. Ticks lay their eggs in the environment, and to protect them from desiccation and microbial attack they involve the eggs in a waxy layer produced by an organ known as Gené’s Organ. In this study, the eggs wax from tick Amblyomma cajennense (Fabricius) was extracted using ice cold phosphate buffer. The antiviral activity was evaluated with picornavirus and influenza virus. In both cases egg wax was able to inhibit virus replication. For influenza virus, an amount as small as 12 μg/mL of crude egg wax suspension neutralized 128 UHA (hemaglutinant unit) of H1N1 influenza virus. With picornavirus, egg wax led to a 256-fold reduction in virus production by L929 cells. Egg wax was not cytotoxic to VERO, MDCK and L929 cell, being observed that the cell morphology was preserved with concentration as high as 2 mg/mL. In addition no genotoxic effect was observed for Vero cells, suggesting a very interesting potential antiviral activity.
KeywordsAntiviral activity Tick egg wax Amblyomma cajennense EMC virus Influenza virus
The authors acknowledge the financial support of FAPESP (2008/57263-5) and CNPq for academic career scholarship to DMBB and RZM.
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