Journal Article

<i>Echinacea purpurea</i> for Prevention of Experimental Rhinovirus Colds

Steven J. Sperber, Leena P. Shah, Richard D. Gilbert, Thomas W. Ritchey and Arnold S. Monto

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 38, issue 10, pages 1367-1371
Published in print May 2004 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online May 2004 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI:
Echinacea purpurea for Prevention of Experimental Rhinovirus Colds

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A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted to evaluate the ability of Echinacea purpurea to prevent infection with rhinovirus type 39 (RV-39). Forty-eight previously healthy adults received echinacea or placebo, 2.5 mL 3 times per day, for 7 days before and 7 days after intranasal inoculation with RV-39. Symptoms were assessed to evaluate clinical illness. Viral culture and serologic studies were performed to evaluate the presence of rhinovirus infection. A total of 92% of echinacea recipients and 95% of placebo recipients were infected. Colds developed in 58% of echinacea recipients and 82% of placebo recipients (P = .114, by Fisher's exact test). Administration of echinacea before and after exposure to rhinovirus did not decrease the rate of infection; however, because of the small sample size, statistical hypothesis testing had relatively poor power to detect statistically significant differences in the frequency and severity of illness.

Journal Article.  3284 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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