We investigated the antiviral activity of an aliphatic nitro compound (NC) isolated from Heteropteris aphrodisiaca O. Mach. (Malpighiaceae), a Brazilian medicinal plant. The NC was tested for its antiviral activity against poliovirus type 1 (PV-1) and bovine herpes virus type 1 (BHV-1) by plaque reduction assay in cell culture. The NC showed a moderate antiviral activity against PV-1 and BHV-1 in HEp-2 cells, and the 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) were 22.01 microg/ml (selectivity index (SI)=2.83) and 21.10 microg/ml (SI=2.95), respectively. At the highest concentration of the drug (40 microg/ml) a reduction of approximately 80% in plaque assay was observed for both viruses. The treatment of cells or virus prior to infection did not inhibit the replication of virus strains.