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International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms
IF: 1.423 5-Year IF: 1.525 SJR: 0.431 SNIP: 0.661 CiteScore™: 1.38

ISSN Print: 1521-9437
ISSN Online: 1940-4344

International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms

DOI: 10.1615/InterJMedicMush.v5.i3.20
12 pages

Antibacterial and Antiviral Value of the Genus Ganoderma P. Karst. Species (Aphyllophoromycetideae): A Review

Yihuai Gao
Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health, Massey University; Landcare Research, Private Bag 92170, Auckland, New Zealand
Shufeng Zhou
Division of Pharmacy, School of Life Sciences, Faculty of Science, Queensland University of Technology, Australia; Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Science, National University of Singapore; University of South Florida FL 33612, USA
Min Huang
Department of Clinical Pharmacology, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Zhongshan (Sun Yat-Sen) University, Guangzhou, R.P. China
Anlong Xu
Biopharmaceutical Development Center, Department of Biochemistry, School of Life Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, The People’s Republic of China


Various effective synthetic antibacterial and antiviral agents have been developed, but drug resistance and toxicity may occur. Herbal medicines may represent a safe and useful approach for the treatment of infectious diseases. Ganoderma lucidum and other Ganoderma species, alone or more often in combination with chemotherapeutic agents, have been used to treat chronic infectious diseases such as chronic hepatitis and bronchitis, although there is limited clinical data available. Data from in vitro and in vivo animal studies indicate that G. lucidum and other Ganoderma species exhibit a broad spectrum of antibacterial and antiviral activities. A recent randomized placebo-controlled clinical study indicates that treatment with G. lucidum polysaccharides at 5400 mg/day for 12 weeks caused inhibitory effects on hepatitis B virus (HBV) replication, as indicated by the decreased serum HBV DNA and hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) levels. It appears that both polysaccharides and triterpenoids are the major antiviral constituents of Ganoderma species, while the polysaccharides play a more important role for its antibacterial activity. There appears to be a structure–activity relationship for triterpenoid-mediated antiviral effect. The mechanisms for the antibacterial and antiviral activities of G. lucidum and other Ganoderma species are largely undefined. Ganoderma constituents (e.g., polysaccharides and triterpenoids) may inhibit viral replication by interfering with their adsorption, virus-hepatocyte fusion and endocytosis, and viral integration, assembly, and release. Currently available data suggest that G. lucidum and some other Ganoderma species may play an adjunct role for the management of various infectious diseases, and further experimental and clinical studies are needed.