A viral infection occurs when a virus enters the body and multiplies. Viral infections can affect most parts of the body, including the liver, immune system and skin. The severity of a viral infection depends on the specific type of infection. Common therapies are antiviral or antiretroviral drugs.
Ajoene is a natural antiviral agent.
The antiviral property of ajoene was first shown by a group of Russian scientists in 1992 where ajoene was able to interrupt the propagation of HIV-infected cells in an in vitro system (Tatarinstsev et al, 1992). Then, Walder and his colleagues including Apitz-Castro later showed that ajoene suppressed HIV-1 replication in an in vitro system (Walder et al, 1997). In addition, the same group of researchers studied the effect of a synthetic ajoene on simian immunodeficiency virus –mediated cell fusion and subsequent virus-induced cytolysis. The result implicated that ajoene has an effective inhibitory effect against the virus (Walder et al, 1998). The authors further postulated that ajoene generally affects the early life cycle of the viral replication. In addition, ajoene has been shown in vitro to block human cytomegalovirus spreading in infected cells (Terrasson et al, 2007).