Antiviral activities of whey proteins

Tzi Bun Ng, Randy Chi Fai Cheung, Jack Ho Wong, Yan Wang, Denis Tsz Ming Ip, David Chi Cheong Wan, Jiang Xia

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Milk contains an array of proteins with useful bioactivities. Many milk proteins encompassing native or chemically modified casein, lactoferrin, alpha-lactalbumin, and beta-lactoglobulin demonstrated antiviral activities. Casein and alpha-lactalbumin gained anti-HIV activity after modification with 3-hydroxyphthalic anhydride. Many milk proteins inhibited HIV reverse transcriptase. Bovine glycolactin, angiogenin-1, lactogenin, casein, alpha-lactalbumin, beta-lactoglobulin, bovine lactoferrampin, and human lactoferrampin inhibited HIV-1 protease and integrase. Several mammalian lactoferrins prevented hepatitis C infection. Lactoferrin, methylated alpha-lactalbumin and methylated beta-lactoglobulin inhibited human cytomegalovirus. Chemically modified alpha-lactalbumin, beta-lactoglobulin and lysozyme, lactoferrin and lactoferricin, methylated alpha-lactalbumin, methylated and ethylated beta-lactoglobulins inhibited HSV. Chemically modified bovine beta-lactoglobulin had antihuman papillomavirus activity. Beta-lactoglobulin, lactoferrin, esterified beta-lactoglobulin, and esterified lactoferrindisplayed anti-avian influenza A (H5N1) activity. Lactoferrin inhibited respiratory syncytial virus, hepatitis B virus, adenovirus, poliovirus, hantavirus, sindbis virus, semliki forest virus, echovirus, and enterovirus. Milk mucin, apolactoferrin, Fe3+-lactoferrin, beta-lactoglobulin, human lactadherin, bovine IgG, and bovine kappa-casein demonstrated antihuman rotavirus activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6997-7008
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Microbiology and Biotechnology
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 18 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful to Food and Health Bureau, Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region for award of a research grant (HMRF 12110672)

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.


  • Antiviral
  • Lactalbumin
  • Lactoferrin
  • Lactoglobulin
  • Lysozyme
  • Whey proteins


Dive into the research topics of 'Antiviral activities of whey proteins'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this