In vitro antiviral activity of clove and ginger aqueous extracts against feline calicivirus, a surrogate for human norovirus

Hamada A. Aboubakr, Andrew Nauertz, Nhungoc T. Luong, Shivani Agrawal, Sobhy A.A. El-Sohaimy, Mohammed M. Youssef, Sagar M. Goyal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Foodborne viruses, particularly human norovirus, are a concern for public health, especially in fresh vegetables and other minimally processed foods that may not undergo sufficient decontamination. It is necessary to explore novel nonthermal techniques for preventing foodborne viral contamination. In this study, aqueous extracts of six raw food materials (flower buds of clove, fenugreek seeds, garlic and onion bulbs, ginger rhizomes, and jalapeño peppers) were tested for antiviral activity against feline calicivirus (FCV) as a surrogate for human norovirus. The antiviral assay was performed using dilutions of the extracts below the maximum nontoxic concentrations of the extracts to the host cells of FCV, Crandell-Reese feline kidney (CRFK) cells. No antiviral effect was seen when the host cells were pretreated with any of the extracts. However, pretreatment of FCV with nondiluted clove and ginger extracts inactivated 6.0 and 2.7 log of the initial titer of the virus, respectively. Also, significant dosedependent inactivation of FCV was seen when host cells were treated with clove and ginger extracts at the time of infection or postinfection at concentrations equal to or lower than the maximum nontoxic concentrations. By comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analysis, eugenol (29.5%) and R-(-)-1,2-propanediol (10.7%) were identified as the major components of clove and ginger extracts, respectively. The antiviral effect of the pure eugenol itself was tested; it showed antiviral activity similar to that of clove extract, albeit at a lower level, which indicates that some other clove extract constituents, along with eugenol, are responsible for inactivation of FCV. These results showed that the aqueous extracts of clove and ginger hold promise for prevention of foodborne viral contamination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1001-1012
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of food protection
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Partial funding provided by the Cultural Affairs and Mission Sector, Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Egypt, is gratefully acknowledged. The work was done at the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, University of Minnesota, St. Paul. We thank Stephen Harvey, Center for Mass Spectrometry and Proteomics, University of Minnesota, for technical help.

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright International Association for Food Protection.


  • Antiviral
  • Aqueous extracts
  • Clove
  • Feline calicivirus
  • Ginger
  • Human norovirus


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