Tea Polyphenols as Natural Products for Potential Future Management of HIV Infection - an overview


  • Karaj Branch, Islamic Azad University, Young Researchers & Elite Club, Karaj, Iran, Islamic Republic of
  • Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran, Iran, Islamic Republic of
  • Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Medical Biology Research Center, Kermanshah, Iran, Islamic Republic of
  • ACECR, Pharmacology & Applied Medicine Department of Medicinal Plants Research Center, Karaj, Iran, Islamic Republic of
  • Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Research Center for Immunodeficiency, Children’s Medical Center, Tehran, Iran, Islamic Republic of
  • Central Queensland University, School of Medical & Applied Sciences, Rockhampton, Australia


Belonging to the Lentivirus genus of animal retroviruses, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the etiological agent of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) which attacks cells of the immune system including CD4+ T lymphocytes, monocytes, macrophages and dendritic cells. A rapid progression to immunodeficiency and the higher transmissibility of HIV-1 compared to HIV-2 are hallmarks of the worldwide spread of AIDS. Conventional HIV treatments are limited by drug toxicity and by multi-drug resistance, caused by the high genetic variability of HIV. This has led researchers into new areas of drug discovery in search of novel therapeutic molecules. Accumulating evidence indicates that tea polyphenols possess a range of beneficial properties including anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, neuro-protective, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral effects. The anti-HIV infection potential of tea polyphenols has been confirmed by several preclinical studies. This suggests that polyphenol-rich extracts of tea could be used as dietary supplements as part of a combined therapeutic regimen with conventional anti-HIV drugs. Phenolic structures may also be considered as backbones for the discovery of a new generation of anti-HIV remedies. This review provides a perspective on the anti-HIV activity of tea polyphenols and their development as a possible source of future drugs for the therapy of HIV/AIDS.


AIDS, Catechin, HIV, Polyphenol, Phytomedicine, Tea, Theaflavin

Subject Discipline

Pharmacy and Pharmacology

Full Text:


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