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Dietary Flavonoid Quercetin Supplement Promotes Antiviral Innate Responses Against Vesicular Stomatitis Virus Infection by Reshaping the Bacteriome and Host Metabolome in Mice.

SCOPE: Active ingredients in functional foods exhibit broad-spectrum antiviral activity. The objective of this study is to investigate the protective effect of quercetin derived from bee propolis, a natural product with antiviral activity and modulating effects on the gut microbiota, against vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) infection.

METHODS AND RESULTS: Through a cellular-based study, this study demonstrates that quercetin can modulate the activity of interferon-regulating factor 3 (IRF3). In vivo, it shows that quercetin protects mice from VSV infection by enhancing interferon production and inhibiting the production of proinflammatory cytokines. The study conducts 16S rRNA-based gut microbiota and nontargets metabolomics analyses to elucidate the mechanisms underlying quercetin-mediated bidirectional communication between the gut microbiome and host metabolome during viral infection. Quercetin not only ameliorates VSV-induced dysbiosis of the intestinal flora but also alters serum metabolites related to lipid metabolism. Cross-correlations between the gut bacteriome and the serum metabolome indicate that quercetin can modulate phosphatidylcholine (16:0/0:0) and 5-acetylamino-6-formylamino-3-methyluracil to prevent VSV infection.

CONCLUSION: This study systematically elucidates the anti-VSV mechanism of quercetin through gut bacteriome and host metabolome assays, offering new insights into VSV treatment and revealing the mechanisms behind a novel disease management strategy using dietary flavonoid supplements.

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