Antiviral activity of maca (Lepidium meyenii) against human influenza virus

Juana del Valle Mendoza, Tomàs Pumarola, Libertad Alzamora Gonzales, Luis J. del Valle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Objective: To investigate antiviral activity of maca to reduce viral load in Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells infected with influenza type A and B viruses (Flu-A and Flu-B, respectively). Methods: Maca were extracted with methanol (1:2, v/v). The cell viability and toxicity of the extracts were evaluated on MDCK cells using method MTT assay. Antiviral activity of compounds against Flu-A and Flu-B viruses was assayed using a test for determining the inhibition of the cytopathic effect on cell culture and multiplex RT-PCR. Results: The methanol extract of maca showed low cytotoxicity and inhibited influenza-induced cytopathic effect significantly, while viral load was reduced via inhibition of viral growth in MDCK infected cells. Maca contains potent inhibitors of Flu-A and Flu-B with a selectivity index [cytotoxic concentration 50%/IC50] of 157.4 and 110.5, respectively. Conclusions: In vitro assays demonstrated that maca has antiviral activity not only against Flu-A (like most antiviral agents) but also Flu-B viruses, providing remarkable therapeutic benefits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S415-S420
JournalAsian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine
Issue numberS1
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2014
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Hainan Medical College.


  • Antiviral activity
  • Flu
  • Influenza virus
  • Lepidium meyenii
  • Maca


Dive into the research topics of 'Antiviral activity of maca (Lepidium meyenii) against human influenza virus'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this