A Review on Antitumor and Antiviral Potential of Cranberries (Vaccinium Vitis-Idaea) Origin from Bulgaria

  • Svetla G. Angelova Department of Virology, National Centre of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases (NCIPD), 44A Stoletov Blvd, 1233 Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Stefka Kr. Ivanova Department of Virology, National Centre of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases (NCIPD), 44A Stoletov Blvd, 1233 Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Ivelina Trifonova Department of Virology, National Centre of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases (NCIPD), 44A Stoletov Blvd, 1233 Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Silviya Voleva Department of Virology, National Centre of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases (NCIPD), 44A Stoletov Blvd, 1233 Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Irina Georgieva Department of Virology, National Centre of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases (NCIPD), 44A Stoletov Blvd, 1233 Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Asya Stoyanova Department of Virology, National Centre of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases (NCIPD), 44A Stoletov Blvd, 1233 Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Ivayla Dincheva AgroBioInstitute, Plant Genetic Research Group, 8 Dr.Tsankov Blvd, 1000 Sofia, Bulgaria
Keywords: Bulgarian cranberries, measles, antitumor and antiviral activity.


A major goal in antitumor and antiviral therapy is to find active ingredients that selectively suppress the proliferation of tumor cells or inhibit viral replication and proliferation. In this connection, the antitumor and antiviral activity of natural products with proven phytochemical properties and pharmacological significance are actively investigated. A promising candidate are Bulgarian cranberries from high mountain plant populations, which are a valuable natural source of food and have proven healing properties in urinary tract infections, eye diseases and cardiovascular disorders, as well as prevention of hypertension and diabetes. The active components of Vaccinium vitis-idaea L. are polyphenols and anthocyanins which belong to classes of plant components with high antioxidant, antimicrobial, cytotoxic and antiproliferative activity. Cranberries contain a high percentage and variety of vitamins (A,  E, C,  etc.) and a number of minerals (K, Ca, Mg, P, Na). In the world regions where endemic measles outbreaks occur, for secondary prevention and avoidance of complications including blindness, WHO recommends the use of high doses of vitamin A in children under 5 years of age. Bulgarian cranberries are a valuable source of vitamins A and C.The assessement of biological activity of the individual components and fractions in the composition of the Bulgarian cranberries may help to identify substances with antitumor and/or antiviral activity that could potentially be useful in future development of new therapeutic agents.


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