Bioactive natural compounds against human coronaviruses: a review and perspective

Yanfang Xian, Juan Zhang, Zhaoxiang Bian, Hua Zhou, Zhenbiao Zhang, Zhixiu Lin*, Hongxi Xu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

132 Citations (Scopus)


Coronaviruses (CoVs), a family of enveloped positive-sense RNA viruses, are characterized by club-like spikes that project from their surface, unusually large RNA genome, and unique replication capability. CoVs are known to cause various potentially lethal human respiratory infectious diseases, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), and the very recent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. Unfortunately, neither drug nor vaccine has yet been approved to date to prevent and treat these diseases caused by CoVs. Therefore, effective prevention and treatment medications against human coronavirus are in urgent need. In the past decades, many natural compounds have been reported to possess multiple biological activities, including antiviral properties. In this article, we provided a comprehensive review on the natural compounds that interfere with the life cycles of SARS and MERS, and discussed their potential use for the treatment of COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1163-1174
Number of pages12
JournalActa Pharmaceutica Sinica B
Issue number7
Early online date8 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Coronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • MERS-CoV
  • Natural compounds
  • RNA-Virus
  • SARS-CoV
  • SARS-CoV-2


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