Polyphenolic compounds present in green tea, particularly catechins, are known to have strong anti-influenza activity. The goal of this study was to determine whether green tea by-products could function as an alternative to common antivirals in animals compared to original green tea. Inhibition of viral cytopathic effects ascertained by neutral red dye uptake was examined with 50% effective (virus-inhibitory) concentrations (EC50) determined. Against the H1N1 virus A/NWS/33, we found the anti-influenza activity of green tea by-products (EC50 = 6.36 μg/mL) to be equivalent to that of original green tea (EC50 = 6.72 μg/mL). The anti-influenza activity of green tea byproducts was further examined in mouse and chicken influenza infection models. In mice, oral administration of green tea by-products reduced viral titers in the lungs in the early phase of infection, but they could not protect these animals from disease and death. In contrast, therapeutic administration of green tea byproducts via feed or water supplement resulted in a dose-dependent significant antiviral effect in chickens, with a dose of 10 g/kg of feed being the most effective (P < 0.001). We also demonstrated that unidentified hexane-soluble fractions of green tea by-products possessed strong anti-influenza activity, in addition to ethyl acetate-soluble fractions, including catechins. This study revealed green tea by-product extracts to be a promising novel antiviral resource for animals.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Animal Science and Zoology