Molecules Antipaludiques: mecanismes d'action, mecanismes de resistance et relations structure-activite des schizontocides sanguins (Antimalarial molecules: activity and resistance mechanisms, structural-activity relationships of schizontocidal drugs). Leonardo K. Basco, Catherine Ruggeri and Jacques Le Bras. Masson, 120 boulevard Saint-Germain 75280 Paris Cedex 06. 384 pages. 250 French francs. 1993

Pascal G. Millet Malaria Department, International Center for Medical Research, CIRMF, BP 769, Franceville, Gabon

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When I showed this book to physicians and scientists working with me in Gabon, Central Africa, they told me: “This is what we need! At last, we won't have to dig out references to find out how antimalarial drugs work, and discover later that we are reading the wrong hypothesis!” Therefore, I had some difficulty in keeping the book long enough to prepare this review.

The authors provide basic information needed about antimalarial drugs effective against blood stages of the parasite. They divide their book into three parts: mechanisms of activity, mechanisms of resistance, and relationships between drug's structure and activity. Such presentation allows any reader, specialist or not, to find easily information about antimalarial drugs. All antiblood-stage molecules are evaluated in detail, from the well-known amino-4-quinolines to the schizontocidal activity of naphtoquinones, iron chelators, plant products and even peptides.

Such a book will be useful in teaching medical students, directing scientists, and informing public health managers.