Transdermal Artelinic Acid: an Effective Treatment for Plasmodium Berghei-Infected Mice

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  • Division of Experimental Therapeutics, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Center for Tropical Parasitic Diseases, University of Miami, Washington, DC

Artelinic acid, a derivative of the naturally occurring antimalarial artemisinin, has been incorporated into a gel suitable for transdermal administration. The formulation was tested for efficacy in Plasmodium berghei-infected mice for both curative and prophylactic properties by application to their partially denuded backs, beginning on days 3 and 0, respectively, after injection of parasitized erythrocytes. In the curative experiments, rapid elimination of the parasitemia and 60-day survival of five of five mice was achieved by dermal application of gel containing 0.9 mg of artelinic acid that was administered twice a day, beginning on day 3 after infection, for three days (total dosage of 270 mg/kg). In the prophylactic trials, the establishment of parasitemia was prevented and 60-day survival was achieved in five of five mice at a dose of 0.9 mg of artelinic acid administered twice a day, beginning on the day of inoculation, for two days (total dosage of 180 mg/kg). The transdermal medium, with or without drug, caused no topical or systemic toxicity.

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