Ocimum sanctum: in vitro antiviral potential against animal viruses

Goel, Anjana ; Bhatia, Ashok Kumar


Ocimum sanctum, a well and widely used medicinal plant has been reported to be efficient for many ailments quoted in Ayurvedic literature. It has been reported to treat the various ailments due to viral infections in humans like measles, chickenpox, influenza and Smallpox. Besides, it has also shown its potential to give protection in malignancy related disorders. The present study was carried out to screen its potential against animal viruses infecting the dairy animals. Bovine Herpes Virus-type-1 (BHV-1) and Foot and Mouth disease virus (FMDV) affecting cattles and Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV) affecting poultry were screened. Cytopathic inhibition test was used to check the antiviral effect of O. sanctum against BHV-1 and FMDV in MDBK and BHK cell lines, respectively. Chick embryo fibroblasts were cultured to propagate NDV and tested by haemagglutination inhibition test. The maximum non-toxic dose of Ocimum sanctum leaves was determined in MDBK and BHK cell lines as well as in chick fibroblast by MTT assay. Ocimum sanctum nontoxic concentrations, 2.5 mg/mL, 5 mg/mL and 10 mg/mL were found in MDBK cell line, BHK cell line and chick fibroblast culture respectively. Concentrations lower than MNTD were used for studies. 85.3% and 98.4% protection were recorded against BHV-1 and NDV, respectively. However, no significant effect against FMD virus was observed. Thus, it can be effectively utilised in curing these viral diseases in farm animals.


Antiviral activity, BHV-1, Holy Basil, NDV, Ocimum tenuiflorum, Tulsi

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