Cistus incanus and swine flu

Influenza, a respiratory disease caused by influenza viruses, is still a worldwide threat with a high potential to cause a pandemic. Beside vaccination, only two classes of drugs are available for antiviral treatment against the pathogen. Cystus052, a plant extract from a special variety of Cistus incanus that is rich in polymeric polyphenols, exhibits antiviral activity against a broad range of pathogenic influenza viruses.

On a molecular basis Cystus052 acts by unspecific binding to the surface of the virus particle, thereby preventing viral attachment to cells. Scientists has demonstrated antiviral action of Cystus052 against all influenza viruses tested so far including subtypes H1N1, H5N1, H3N2 and H7N7. Because of the broad and unspecific action Cystus052 also is active in vitro against the novel H1N1 swine influenza viruses that have emerged in Mexico. Moreover, antiviral action has already been shown for human viruses of the same subtype (H1N1).

Cystus052 may have several advantages with regard to its use as an antiviral agent. First, the plant extract has been applied for centuries in traditional medicine without reports of adverse effects or allergic reactions. This apparent lack of side effects would even allow long-term prophylactic use. Furthermore, a broad and unspecific anti-pathogen action as shown for Cystus052 prevents emergence of viral resistance and the compound may also be active against opportunistic bacterial infections.

Autor/In: Rai­ner H. Bu­ben­zer,
Quellen: Ehrhardt C, Hrincius ER, Korte V, Mazur I, Droebner K, Poetter A, Dreschers S, Schmolke M, Planz O, Ludwig S: A polyphenol rich plant extract, CYSTUS052, exerts anti influenza virus activity in cell culture without toxic side effects or the tendency to induce viral resistance. Antiviral Res. 2007 Oct;76(1):38-47 (Abstract).
Droebner K, Ehrhardt C, Poetter A, Ludwig S, Planz O: CYSTUS052, a polyphenol-rich plant extract, exerts anti-influenza virus activity in mice. Antiviral Res. 2007 Oct;76(1):1-10 (Abstract).
Kalus U, Kiesewetter H, Radtke H: Effect of CYSTUS052((R) and green tea on subjective symptoms in patients with infection of the upper respiratory tract. Phytother Res. 2009 May 14 (Abstract).
Kalus U, Grigrorov A, Kadecki O, Jansen JP, Kiesewetter H, Radtke H.: Cistus incanus (Cystus052) for Treating Patients with Infection of the Upper Respiratory Tract A prospective, randomised, placebo controlled clinical study. Antiviral Res. 2009 Oct 11 (Abstract).
Droebner K, Ehrhardt C, Mueller, C, Hrincius ER, Buettner M, Ludwig S, Planz O: Early antiviral activity of CYSTUS052 against H5N1 influenza virus is more efficient compared to oseltamivir. Planta Medica. 2008 Jul;74:934 (Abstract).
Ehrhardt C, Eike R, Hrincius ER, Droebner K, Korte V, Mazur I, Pötter A, Schmolke M, Planz O, Ludwig S: CYSTUS052, a polyphenol rich plant extract, exerts potent anti-influenza virus activity in cell culture by blocking viral attachment to host cells. Planta Medica. 2008 Jul;74:1019 (Abstract).