Lichen Secondary Metabolites as Possible Antiviral Agents

  • Damian C. Odimegwu
  • Kenneth Ngwoke
  • Chika Ejikeugwu
  • Charles O. EsimoneEmail author


The revised edition of this chapter has been carefully and entirely rewritten. As a general rule, all sections have been revised and updated with current knowledge, more recent references included, and some sections expanded. Of particular note is the incorporation of significant additional materials in both sections dealing with some biological activities of lichen-derived secondary metabolites with particular emphasis on antitumor and anti-cellular agents and antiviral activities of lichen secondary metabolites. Every other section has been thoroughly revised and enriched with more current references.

Section 7.1 deals with broad and specific definitions of lichens and antiviral agents. Here, we will focus briefly on viruses and antiviral agents: their nature, source, general characteristics, and effects. Attempt is made to briefly classify antiviral agents based on their mode of action and virus targets. Lichen as a broad group of useful source of phytochemical agents is briefly described with emphasis on their unique niche in natural product research.

Section 7.2 deals with issues related to secondary metabolites (phytochemicals) from lichen. Lichen compounds because they possess some biological effects will form also the focus of this section. Some classes of lichen compounds are presented as well as their molecular structures. How they influence biological host and agents would be described briefly in the latter part of this section with presentation of some that display antiviral activities. The exact sources of these compounds are fully elucidated. Attempt is also made to mention lichen-derived compounds yet-to-be-fully-validated antiviral property.

Section 7.3 will focus on conclusion beginning with a summary of narrated up-to-date available data of antiviral lichen compounds currently undergoing preliminary and extensive research and development. How these agents have been applied or would be applied to biomedical and pharmaceutical utility would be addressed. The pharmaceutical industry involvement in further product development would be mentioned to display existing link between basic research setting and industry development endpoint. Finally, statement is made speculating on the future of lichen research and the positive expected outcomes of improved research interest in this unique group of medicinal plants.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Damian C. Odimegwu
    • 1
  • Kenneth Ngwoke
    • 2
  • Chika Ejikeugwu
    • 2
  • Charles O. Esimone
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Faculty of Pharmaceutical SciencesUniversity of NigeriaNsukkaNigeria
  2. 2.Faculty of Pharmaceutical SciencesNnamdi Azikiwe UniversityAwkaNigeria

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