Anti-Zika Activity of Ouratea semiserrata and Dereplication of Its Constituents


Zika virus is an arbovirus that has vector mosquitoes of the genus Aedes. In adult humans, the infection may be asymptomatic or present mild symptoms such as itching and low fever. However, the infection is associated with other severe problems, which encouraged investigations for an effective treatment against this virus. This work evaluated the potential anti-Zika virus effect of the ethanolic extract of Ouratea semiserrata (Mart. & Nees) Engl., Ochnaceae, a medicinal plant popularly used in Brazil for the treatment of viral infections. The extract of the stems was prepared by cold percolation using ethanol as solvent and its content dereplicated by ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography-diode array detector-tandem mass spectrometry. Phenolic compounds including rutin, catechin, and epicatechin were identified as the major constituents. The antiviral activity was tested in vitro against Zika virus by the MTT colorimetric method. The ethanol extract inhibited the viral replication cycle with an EC50 of 37.5 μg/ml, and at the concentration of 100 μg/ml, a 100% inhibition of the viral cytopathic effect was obtained. Rutin and epicatechin inhibited viral cytopathic effect in Vero cells with EC50 > 50.00 μg/ml.

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Prof. A.B. Oliveira and F.C. Braga would like to express their gratitude to the Laboratório de Fitoquímica da Faculdade de Farmácia, UFMG for access to the equipment for chromatographic analysis. Thanks are also expressed to G.P. Skiminn for the authorization to reproduce the plant material image.


This work was supported by funds from Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de Minas Gerais (Brazil), process number CDS/APQ-01529-15; Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (Brazil), INCT Dengue (Dengue IMH), process number N.: 465425/2014-3; Pró-Reitoria de Pesquisa e Pós-Graduação da UFOP, process number 23109.003517/2018-85 and Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Ensino Superior (Brazil).

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GMF carried out the experiments and wrote the manuscript. GCB outlined and guided the project and revised and corrected the manuscript. GHBS supervised the chemical analysis. BMS collaborated with biological assays that involved cell culture. ABO facilitated and participated in the chromatographic analyses.

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Correspondence to Geraldo Célio Brandão.

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Ferreira, G.M., de Mello Silva, B., de Souza, G.H.B. et al. Anti-Zika Activity of Ouratea semiserrata and Dereplication of Its Constituents. Rev. Bras. Farmacogn. 31, 121–125 (2021).

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  • Anti-arboviral activity
  • Proanthocyanidins
  • Ochnaceae
  • Natural products
  • Flavivirus
  • Flaviviridae