Canine kidney cells infected with influenza virus were incubated in a medium containing wild watermelon juice at different concentrations. Influenza virus replication was suppressed in the medium containing wild watermelon juice, and the effect was concentration-dependent. No significant suppression of viral replication was observed when the juice of a commercially available watermelon was added to the culture medium.
In general, the viral life cycle proceeds through a series of successive steps, which are: attachment of viral particles to the host cell, entry of the virus, replication, and shedding of newly formed viral particles. An additional experiment was conducted to ascertain the stage of the virus life cycle that is suppressed by wild watermelon juice. Wild watermelon juice was added at the stages of viral attachment and the first half and the second half of the replication cycle (8 hours); the viral activity was measured at each of these stages. Viral replication was suppressed during the second half of the replication cycle (indicated in red). These results suggest that wild watermelon juice inhibits the replication of influenza virus.
Influenza, which is mostly prevalent during winter months, is an acute respiratory tract infection caused by an influenza virus. Following viral infection, immune cells in the body become activated through a plethora of mechanisms involving signaling molecules, cytokines, cell receptors, and somatic hypermutation of immune receptor genes. Collectively, these mechanisms lead to the elimination of viral particles and virus-infected cells.