Antiviral activity of aloe extracts against cytomegalovirus

K. Saoo, H. Miki, M. Ohmori, W. D. Winters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Substances extracted from the leaves of aloe giants have been reported to have antiviral effects against enveloped viruses in in vitro test systems. In the present studies, we have assessed the antiviral activity of partially purified extracts prepared from the gel portion of leaves of Aloe barbadensis Miller against human cytomegalovirus (CMV) by plaque inhibition tests (PIT), flow cytometry and morphometry assays. Six test extracts of gel filet portions of aloe leaves were prepared; i.e. R1 from immature leaves harvested in the early summer, S1 from mature leaves harvested in the autumn, F1 from S1 after freezing at -20°C, and R2, S2 and F2 which were ethanol treated extracts of R1, S1 and F1, respectively. When test aloe extracts were added at various concentrations during the course of infection with CMV, R1, S1 and F2 at concentrations of 10-1 inhibited plaque formation. The addition of S1 to the medium between 12 and 36 h after initiation of CMV infection, a time of high DNA synthesis, caused the most effective plaque inhibition. Flow cytometric and morphometric analyses revealed no significant differences in aloe extract treated, CMV infected cells compared with non-aloe treated CMV infected control cells. The results suggest that a major mechanism of inhibition of CMV infection by aloe extracts is through interference with DNA synthesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)348-350
Number of pages3
JournalPhytotherapy Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Aloe barbadensis Miller
  • cytomegalovirus
  • DNA synthesis
  • flow cytometry
  • morphometry
  • plaque inhibition test

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology


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