Mushrooms destroy HIV and flu viruses — Novosibirsk VECTOR centre
Ten strains of Siberian fungi have shown an effect against HIV, influenza and smallpox viruses as a result of research carried out by the VECTOR State Research Centre of Virology and Biotechnology in Koltsovo, near Novosibirsk. They claim that the birch parasite Chaga mushroom has the widest spectrum of antiviral activity, Sib.fm’s correspondent found on 19 September.
The Koltsovo press office reports that VECTOR’s experts discovered that Chaga, tinder and oyster mushrooms can be used to develop medicines.
Their strains showed «low toxicity and a potent antiviral effect» in vitro, while a strain of the parasitic Chaga mushroom (Inonotus obliquus) has the widest spectrum of antiviral activity.
Melanin harvested from the natural materials and a cultivated mushroom spawn is low in toxicity and has a virus-neutralising capacity against influenza, human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), herpes simplex type 2 (HSV-2), variolovaccine, smallpox and monkeypox.
Several other types of mushroom are also «worthy of attention»: the turkey tail and lung oyster are both effective against HIV-1, HSV-2, WNV (West Nile virus) and H5N1 and H3N2 group viruses, the artist’s bracket (HIV-1, HSV-2, smallpox, H5N1), sulphur shelf (HSV-2, WNV, H5N1, H3N2), oyster mushroom (HIV-1, HSV-2, WNV, H5N1) and the common stinkhorn (HSV-2, WNV, H5N1, H3N2), notes Tatiana Kosogova, an employee of the VECTOR mycology lab, in her summary of «Strains of basidium fungi from the south of Western Siberia — promising producers of biologically active medicines».
During the study, 82 strains of 44 species of mushrooms growing in South-Western Siberia were isolated for the first time. In total, 447 samples were tested for antiviral activity, most of all — against the influenza virus (161 samples).
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Chaga was used as a medicinal agent in Russia as early as the 16th century to fight gastro-intestinal diseases and tumours. Chaga is the only fungus included in the pharmacopoeia of the Russian Federation. It is used to manufacture antitumoural extract «Befungin», cancer treatment preparation «Chagaluxe» and dietary supplement «Chagovit», added a spokesperson from the Koltsovo press centre.