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Published Online: 27 August 2007

Inhibition of Several Strains of Influenza Virus in Vitro and Reduction of Symptoms by an Elderberry Extract (Sambucus nigra L.) during an Outbreak of Influenza B Panama

Publication: The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Volume 1, Issue Number 4

Abstract

A standardized elderberry extract, Sambucol® (SAM), reduced hemagglutination and inhibited replication of human influenza viruses type A/Shangdong 9/93 (H3N2), A/Beijing 32/92 (H3N2), A/Texas 36/91 (HlNl), A/Singapore 6/86 (HlNl), type B/Panama 45/90, B/Yamagata 16/88, B/Ann Arbor 1/86, and of animal strains from Northern European swine and turkeys, A/Sw/Ger 2/81, A/Tur/Ger 3/91, and A/Sw/Ger 8533/91 in Madin–Darby canine kidney cells. A placebo-controlled, double blind study was carried out on a group of individuals living in an agricultural community (kibbutz) during an outbreak of influenza B/Panama in 1993. Fever, feeling of improvement, and complete cure were recorded during 6 days. Sera obtained in the acute and convalescent phases were tested for the presence of antibodies to influenza A, B, respiratory syncytial, and adenoviruses. Convalescent phase serologies showed higher mean and mean geometric hemagglutination inhibition (HI) titers to influenza B in the group treated with SAM than in the control group. A significant improvement of the symptoms, including fever, was seen in 93.3% of the cases in the SAM-treated group within 2 days, whereas in the control group 91.7% of the patients showed an improvement within 6 days (p < 0.001). A complete cure was achieved within 2 to 3 days in nearly 90% of the SAM-treated group and within at least 6 days in the placebo group (p < 0.001). No satisfactory medication to cure influenza type A and B is available. Considering the efficacy of the extract in vitro on all strains of influenza virus tested, the clinical results, its low cost, and absence of side-effects, this preparation could offer a possibility for safe treatment for influenza A and B.

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cover image The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Volume 1Issue Number 4Winter 1995
Pages: 361 - 369
PubMed: 9395631

History

Published online: 27 August 2007
Published in print: Winter 1995

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Professor Zichria Zakay-Rones
Department of Virology, Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel.
Noemi Varsano
Central Virology Laboratory, Public Health Laboratories, Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel.
Moshe Zlotnik
Ben Gurion University, Soroka Medical Center, Beer Sheva, Israel.
Orly Manor
Brown School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel.
Liora Regev
Central Virology Laboratory, Public Health Laboratories, Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel.
Miriam Schlesinger
Department of Virology, Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel.
Madeleine Mumcuoglu
Department of Virology, Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel.

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