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Evaluation of phytochemicals from Indian traditional medicinal plants as anti-HIV-1 Drugs

Journal of Human Virology & Retrovirology
Shweta Singh,1 Muskan Goel,2 Bechan Sharma3


According to a global estimate, the growing infection by Human Immunodeficiency Virus type 1 (HIV-1) causing development of a dreaded disease i.e., Acquired ImmunoDeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) has been a major health risk resulting into loss of lives of about 25 million people in the last 25 years. The information available on basic biological processes in the HIV life-cycle suggest that it destroys a subpopulation of T-lymphocytes containing CD4 receptor and CXCR4 or CCR5 as a coreceptor on their surface. These molecules on cell surface are required by the virus for docking and internalization. Since the availability of a suitable vaccine against this virus is currently far from reach and the presently available synthetic antiHIV therapeutics exhibit severe toxicity and induce emergence of drug resistant mutations, it was imperative to explore plant-based principles targeting specific steps in the viral life-cycle. Moreover, the advancement in separation, purification and chemical characterization technologies for identification of natural compounds has offered promises for the usage of medicinal plants in modern drug discovery. With a few newly discovered natural products demonstrating anti-HIV potential in comparison to a vast number of previously known natural products exhibiting activity against HIV, a multiplex approach is required for exploring cost effective, safe, and efficient plant based anti-HIV drugs with very small LD50 value exhibiting efficacy at nanomolar / picomolar range. This article illustrates an updated account of information on the antiHIV-1 efficacy of some bioactive molecules isolated from different medicinal plants. Furthermore, the article highlights some chemical compounds isolated from weeds showing activity against functions of viral reverse transcriptase (HIV-1RT), protease and integrase enzymes.


phytochemicals, human immunodeficiency type 1 reverse transcriptase (HIV-1RT), highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), CD4+ve lymphocyte, toxicity, anti-HIV-1 drugs resistance, chemotherapeutics