Quercetin as an antiviral weapon-A review


  • Ramen Kalita NETES Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, Mirza, Kamrup, Assam-781125
  • Kunal Bhattacharya NETES Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, Mirza, Kamrup, Assam-781125
  • Amir Ali NETES Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, Mirza, Kamrup, Assam-781125
  • Satyasish Sandilya Pratiksha Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, Panikhaiti, Guwahati-781026




Quercetin, free radical, usefulness, viral infection


Antioxidants are substances that can prevent cells from the damage caused by unstable molecules such as free radicals. Quercetin, a plant pigment present in many fruits, vegetables, grains, and one of the most beneficial antioxidants in the diet and plays an important role in helping the body and prevent free radical damage, which is linked to chronic diseases. The antioxidant properties of quercetin may help to reduce inflammation, allergy symptoms, blood pressure. A lot of studies have been done and experiments have been conducted both in vivo and in vitro and it has been found that in cultured cells many respiratory viruses were inhibited by quercetin. At a minimal inhibitory concentration of 0.03 to 0.5μg/ml in WI-38 or Hela cells, Cytopathic effects produced by echovirus type 7,11,12,19, rhinovirus, poliovirus, and coxsackievirus A21 and B1 were inhibited. The plaque formed by DNA and RNA viruses such as Herpes Simplex Virus-1, Polio type 1, and parainfluenza types 3 were effectively reduced demonstrating its anti-replicative properties. This article reviews effect of quercetin on different types of viral infections.


Download data is not yet available.


Uchide N, Toyoda H. Antioxidant therapy as a potential approach to severe influenza associated complications, 16, 2032–2052 (2011).

Manuel R, Biancatelli LC, Berrill M. Quercetin and Vitamin C: An Experimental, Synergistic Therapy for the Prevention and Treatment of SARS-CoV-2 Related Disease (COVID-19), 11, 1451 (2020).

Zandi K, Teoh BT, Sam SS, Wong PF, Mustafa MR, Abubakar S. Antiviral activity of four types of bioflavonoid against dengue virus type-2. Virol J, 8, 560 (2011).

Nieman DC, Henson DA, Gross SJ, Jenkins DP. Quercetin reduces illness but not immune perturbations after intensive exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 39, 1561–1569 (2007).

Wu W, Li R, Li X, He J, Jiang S, Liu S, et al. Quercetin as an antiviral agent inhibits Influenza A Virus (IAV) entry. Viruses, 8, 6 (2015).

Ganesan S, Faris AN, Comstock AT, Wang Q. Quercetin inhibits rhinovirus replication in vitro and in vivo. Antiviral Res, 94, 258–271 (2012).

Li BW, Zhang FH, Serrao E, Chen H. Design and discovery of flavonoid-based HIV-1 integrase inhibitors targeting both the active site and the interaction with LEDGF/p75. BioorgMed Chem, 22, 3146–3158 (2014).

Spedding G, Ratty A, Middleton E Jr. Inhibition of reverse transcriptases by flavonoids. Antiviral Res, 12, 99 –110 (1989).

Ono K, Nakane H. Mechanisms of inhibition of various cellular DNA and RNA polymerases by several flavonoids. J Biochem, 108, 609–613 (1990).

Debiaggi M, Tateo F, Pagani L, Luini M. Effects of propolis flavonoids on virus infectivity and replication. Microbiologica, 13, 207–213 (1990).

Hosokawa N, Hirayoshi K, Nakai A, Hosokawa Y. Flavonoids inhibit the expression of heat shock proteins. Cell Struct Funct, 15, 393–401(1990).

Zhang L, Lin D, Sun X, Curth U, Drosten C, Sauerhering L. Crystal structure of SARS-CoV-2 main protease provides a basis for design of improved a-ketoamide inhibitors.Science, 368, 409–412 (2020).

Rojas A, Campo JAD, Lemasson M. Effect of Quercetin on Hepatitis C Virus Life Cycle: From Viral to Host Targets, 6, 31777 (2016).

Bachmetov L, Gal-Tanamy M, Shapira A, Vorobeychik M, Giterman-Galam T, Sathiyamoorthy P. Suppression of hepatitis C virus by the flavonoid quercetin is mediated by inhibition of NS3 protease activity. J Viral Hepat, 19, 81–88 (2012).

Nair MP, Kandaswami C, Mahajan S, Chadha KC, Chawda R, NairandSchwartz SAH. The flavonoid, quercetin, differentially regulates Th-1 (IFNgamma) and Th-2 (IL4) cytokine gene expression by normal peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Biochim Biophys Acta, 1593, 29–36 (2002).

Alvarez P, Alvarado C, Puerto M, Schlumberger A, Jiménez L, De la Fuente M. Improvement of leukocyte functions in prematurely aging mice after five weeks of diet supplementation with polyphenol-rich cereals. Nutrition, 22, 913–921 (2006).

Exon JH, Magnuson BA, South EH, Hendrix K. Effect of dietary chlorogenic acid on multiple immune functions and formation of aberrant crypt foci in rats. J Toxicol Environ Health A, 53, 375–384 (1998).

Choi H-J, Kim J-H, Lee C-H. Antiviral activity of quercetin 7-rhamnoside against porcine epidemic diarrhea virus.Antiviral Res, 81, 77-81 (2009).

Rota PA, Oberste MS, Monroe SS, Nix WA, Campagnoli R, Icenogle JP. Characterization of a novel coronavirus associated with severe acute respiratory syndrome. Science, 300, 1394–1399 (2003).

Snijder EJ, Bredenbeek PJ, Dobbe JC, Thiel V, Ziebuhr J, Poon LLM. Unique and conserved features of genome and proteome of SARS coronavirus, an early split-off from the coronavirus group 2 lineage.J Mol Biol, 331, 991–1004 (2003).

Chen L, Li J, Luo C, Liu H, Xu W, Chen G. Binding interaction of quercetin-3-beta-galactoside and its synthetic derivatives with SARS-CoV 3CL(pro): structure-activity relationship studies reveal salient pharmacophore features. Bioorg Med Chem, 14, 8295– 8306 (2006).

Li Y, Yao J, Han C, Yang J, Chaudhry MT, Wang S, et al. Quercetin, inflammation and immunity. Nutrients, 8, 167 (2016).

Lu R, Zhao X, Li J, Niu P, Yang B, Wu H. Genomic characterisation and epidemiology of 2019 novel coronavirus: implications for virus origins and receptor binding. Lancet, 395, 565–574 (2020).

Huang F, Li Y, Leung ELH. A review of therapeutic agents and Chinese herbal medicines against SARSCOV-2 (COVID-19).Pharmacological Research, 158, 104929 (2020).

Pankaj Kumar, Madhu Khanna, Vikram Srivastava, Yogesh Kumar Tyagi. Effect 258 of quercetin supplementation on lung antioxidants after experimental influenza virus infection, 31, 449-59 (2005).

Utesch, D, Feige, K, Dasenbrock, J, Harwood, Danielewska-Nikiel, B. Lines, T.C. Evaluation of the potential in vivo genotoxicity of quercetin. Mutat. Res, 654, 38–44 (2008).

Pérez-Pastén, R.; Martínez-Galero, E. Chamorro-Cevallos, G. Quercetin and naringenin reduce abnormal development of mouse embryos produced by hydroxyurea. J. Pharm. Pharmacol, 62, 1003–1009 (2010).

Vanhees, K. de Bock, L. Godschalk, R.W. van Schooten, F.J.van Waalwijk van Doorn-Khosrovani, S.B.Prenatal. Exposure to flavonoids: Implication for cancer risk. Toxicol. Sci, 120, 59–67 (2011).

Azuma, K. Ippoushi, K. Terao, J. Evaluation of tolerable levels of dietary quercetin for exerting its antioxidative e_ect in high cholesterol-fed rats. Food Chem. Toxicol, 48, 1117–1122 (2010).

Bischo, S.C. Quercetin: potentials in the prevention and therapy of disease. Curr. Opin. Clin. Nutr. Metab. Care, 11, 733–740 (2008).

Harwood, M. Danielewska-Nikiel, B. Borzelleca, J.F. Flamm, G.W.Williams, G.M. Lines, T.C. A critical review of the data related to the safety of quercetin and lack of evidence of in vivo toxicity, including lack of genotoxic/carcinogenic properties. Food Chem. Toxicol, 45, 2179–2205 (2007).



How to Cite

Kalita, R., Bhattacharya, K., Ali, A., & Sandilya, S. (2021). Quercetin as an antiviral weapon-A review. Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Research, 9(1), 25-29. https://doi.org/10.18231/JOAPR.2021.