IMR Press / FBL / Volume 27 / Issue 6 / DOI: 10.31083/j.fbl2706180
Open Access Original Research
Ginseng Protects ACE2-Transgenic Mice from SARS-CoV-2 Infection
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1 Laboratory of Influenza Research, College of Veterinary Medicine, Institute of Influenza Virus, Chungnam National University, 99 Dae-Hak Ro, Yuseong Gu, 34134 Daejeon, Republic of Korea
2 Institute of Influenza Virus, Chungnam National University, 34134 Daejeon, Republic of Korea
*Correspondence: (Sang Heui Seo)
Academic Editor: Josef Jampílek
Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2022, 27(6), 180;
Submitted: 6 May 2022 | Revised: 13 May 2022 | Accepted: 19 May 2022 | Published: 6 June 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccine and anti-viral drug development for SARS-CoV2)
Copyright: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by IMR Press.
This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license.

Background: The pandemic caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is ongoing, and despite massive vaccination campaigns, individuals continue to be infected with new SARS-CoV-2 variants. We studied the effects of ginseng, an immune-enhancing agent, on conferring immunity against SARS-CoV-2 in transgenic mice expressing the SARS-CoV-2 human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor. Methods: Human ACE2-transgenic (ACE2-tg) mice were fed ginseng extract for 180 days before they were intranasally infected with SARS-CoV-2. The mortality and morbidity were monitored for 10 days. The amount of antiviral interferon in the lung tissues was measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kits. Results: Thirty percent of the mice fed ginseng extract prior to infection survived, whereas all those that were not fed ginseng extract prior to infection died. Viral titers in the lungs were significantly lower in mice fed ginseng extract than in those not fed ginseng extract. The induction of antiviral interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) was significantly higher in the lungs of mice fed ginseng extract than in those that were not. Conclusions: Our data indicate that a ginseng-containing diet may enhance immunity against SARS-CoV-2 in a mouse model.

antiviral activity
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