Echinacea Dry Root Extract Reduces the Relapse Rates of Genital Warts

INTRODUCTION: HPV infection is a highly infectious disease; about 65% of partners of individuals with genital warts will develop genital condylomatosis. Only in 20-30% it regresses spontaneously and relapse rates range deeply (9-80%). Echinacea extracts possess antiviral and immunomodulator activities. The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of the therapy, using a formulation based on HPVADL18® (on dry extracts of 200 mg Echinacea Purpurea (EP) roots plus E. Angustifolia (EA)), on the posttreatment relapse incidence of genital condylomatosis. 

MATERIALS AND METHODS: It is a prospective single-arm study. Patients with a satisfactory and positive vulvoscopy, colposcopy, or peniscopy for genital condylomatosis were divided into two random groups and subjected to destructive therapy with Co2 Laser. Group A (N=64) immediately after the laser therapy started a 4-month treatment with oral HPVADL18®; Group B (N=61) did not undergo any additional therapy. Patients were subjected to a follow-up after 1, 6, and 12 months. Differences in relapse incidence between the two groups during follow-up controls were evaluated by χ2-test; the groups were stratified by age, gender, and condylomatosis extension degree. 

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: Gender, age, and condyloma lesions’ extension degree showed no statistically significant differences between the two trial groups. The relapse incidence differs statistically between the two studied groups and progressively decreases during the 12 months after treatment in both groups. Statistically significant reduction of relapse rates has been shown in Group A in patients over 25 years old. This difference is significant for both men and women. The relapse incidence is superior in case of extended condylomatosis. Conclusions. In conclusion, the presence of a latent infection causes condylomatosis relapse; in order to reduce the relapse risk, an induction of a protective immune response seems to be essential to allow rapid viral clearance from genital areas surrounding lesion and treatment zones. Echinacea promotes this process. EP and EA dry root extracts seem to be a valid adjuvant therapy in reducing relapse incidence of lesions in patients treated for genital condylomatosis.

De Rosa N, et al. Effect of Immunomodulatory Supplements Based on Echinacea Angustifolia and Echinacea Purpurea on the Posttreatment Relapse Incidence of Genital Condylomatosis: A Prospective Randomized Study. Biomed Res Int. 2019 Apr 11;2019:3548396. doi: 10.1155/2019/3548396. eCollection 2019.