Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


College of Science and Mathematics



Thesis Sponsor/Dissertation Chair/Project Chair

Sandra D. Adams

Committee Member

Lee H. Lee

Committee Member

Kirsten Monsen-Collar


Black tea, derived from the Camellia sinensis plant, is a natural product that is rich in polyphenols. The major polyphenols found in black tea are known as theaflavins. Previous research demonstrated that theaflavins contain antiviral activity against Herpes simplex virus 1 & 2 (HSV-1 & HSV-2), both enveloped DNA viruses. The goal of this research was to investigate the antiviral activity of theaflavins on the Sindbis virus (SINV). SINV is an enveloped RNA virus, and the prototype species of alphaviruses. SINV was treated with various concentrations of a theaflavin rich Black Tea Extract (BTE) before infection of Vero Cells. Antiviral and ToxGlo assays indicate that BTE exhibits antiviral activity against SINV at concentrations of 0.7mM and 1.4mM. Treatment of virus with 1.4mM BTE inhibits viral infection by 99%, while 0.7mM BTE inhibits viral infection by 46 - 74%. Cytopathic effect images suggest that 1.4mM BTE reduces cytopathic effects, correlating with the antiviral and ToxGlo assay results. Altogether, this research indicates that BTE does inhibit Alphavirus replication in vitro. The inhibition of SINV replication in this study would suggest potential inhibition of other Alphaviruses.

Included in

Biology Commons