In Vitro Antimalarial Activity of Vegetal Extracts Used in West African Traditional Medicine

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  • Laboratoire d'Immunologie et Parasitologie, et Laboratoire de Pharmacognosie, Unite de Formation et de Recherche des Sciences Pharmaceutiques, Faculte de Pharmacie, Universite de Cote d'Ivoire, Montpellier, France
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Among strategies for the development of new antimalarials, a study of plants traditionally used in Africa against malaria has been pursued. Extracts obtained from the plants Azadirachta indica, Cinnamonum camphora, Lippia multiflora, Vernonia colorata, Guiera senegalensis, Combretum micranthum, and Ximenia americana, commonly used in Cote d'Ivoire by native healers for the treatment of malaria, were tested on two strains of Plasmodium falciparum: FcB1-Colombia (chloroquine-resistant) and F32-Tanzania (chloroquine-sensitive). Extracts were obtained after infusion and decoction, both techniques being used by most native healers. The antimalarial activities of the extracts were tested first by parasite 3H-hypoxanthine incorporation and second by visual evaluation of the activities of plant extracts on thin blood smears, which also permitted the determination of parasitic stages and parasite alteration. Among the seven plants tested, some had an apparent inhibitory effect on P. falciparum growth in vitro, while others seemed to be less efficient.