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Breaking news: Artemisia afra cures tuberculosis

October 1, 2020 - 06:55 -- Pierre Lutgen

Pascal Gisenya and Nsengiyumva Bati Daddy

Tuberculosis kills 2 000 000 people every year. And the situation is dramatic because the disease becomes resistant to conventional pharmaceutical treatments.

We ran a pilot trial at the Ruanguba Hospital in North Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo to confirm the efficacy of Artemisia Afra as a supplement to the National Treatment
We admitted 5 patients with confirmed laboratory Ziehl-Neelsen test on Day 0.
All of these patients were adult male with the following symptoms typical to Active tuberculosis: productive cough for more than 3 weeks aggravated at night, chest pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, fever and night sweats.
One of the patients has been on the national protocol (as per WHO recommendation: R=Rifampicin, H: Isoniazid, Z: Pyrazinamide, E: Ethambutol) for 1 month but there was no change.
All the 5 patients were admitted in isolation in a separate ward. They were given the national program treatment (RHZE) with 10 gm of Artemisia afra (leaves and stems) dissolved in 1 liter of boiled water in 3 divided doses. They were also fed with 3 meals a day for 10 days.
On day 2 of treatment the night cough was partially reversed and all the patients could sleep and continued to cough only 10 times during the day.
On day 5, the following symptoms stopped: cough, fatigue, fever and night sweats.
On day 7, all the patients were symptoms free and displayed a lot of energy to the point that they asked to visit their fields. They walked for around 10 kms and returned to the hospital with no symptoms.
On day 10, all of the patients had sputum laboratory examination and the Zielh-Neelsen test was negative.
This Ziehl-Neelsen lab test was performed on 29/09/2020 and the results even if expected became overwhelming: total absence of mycobacteria in the sputum of the 5 patients.

This in vivo result is to our knowledge the first observed for this combination of Artemisia afra or Artemisia annua infusions combined with conventional anti-tuberculosis drugs. Several authors had obtained promising in vitro results, but very often in vitro assays cannot be confirmed in vivo. The interference of the human metabolism affects the mechanisms.

Maria C Martini, Tianbi Zhang, John T. Williams, Robert B. Abramovitch, Pamela J. Weathers, Artemisia annua and Artemisia afra extracts exhibit strong bactericidal activity against Mycobacterium tuberculosis. J. Ethnopharmacology Volume 262, 15 November 2020, 113191 doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2020.113191

Ntutela S, Smith P, Matika L, et al. Efficacy of Artemisia afra phytotherapy in experimental tuberculosis. Tuberculosis (Edinb). 2009;89 Suppl 1(Suppl 1):S33-S40. doi:10.1016/S1472-9792(09)70009-5

With our research partners we are actively looking for an explanation of this extraordinary property of Artemisia afra infusions. Our partner Dr Pierre Lutgen proposes the hypothesis that pentacyclic triterpenes play a key role.

Il is planned to confirm our results by similar in vivo case studies with partners in other African countries: Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Cameroon.

Artemisia afra, a widespread wild African plant, will save Africa, not only from Malaria, Schistosomiasis, Trypanosoma, but also from Tuberculosis


Submitted by Pierre Lutgen on

The results of 15 case studies have been published

Daddy B, Lutgen P, Gisenya P. Breakthrough against tuberculosis: high efficacy of Artemisia afra infusions. Pharm Pharmacol Int J. 2021;9(2):58‒62.

Submitted by Anonymized User (not verified) on

The death toll in Africa for tuberculosis and malaria is astronomic compared to Covid

Submitted by Irene Teis on

A staggering 200,000 COVID-19 papers have been published in 2020, for a disease which causes a worldwide deathtoll of 0.01%.

But on tuberculosis which kills 1 600 000 people per year, only 4 papers can be found on PubMed for the last 10 years
It was thus a encouraging surprise to find a recent research paper on tuberculosis by an international team affiliated to the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech) :

« New study explains Mycobacterium tuberculosis high resistance to drugs and immunity «

Submitted by Pierre Lutgen on

Already 30 years ago it was known that human monocytes which have ingested hemozoin are unable to neutralize pathogenic bacteria, fungi, and tumor cells, and that macrophage responses decline during the course of human and animal malaria. Hemozoin (Hz) is a biocrystal synthesized by Plasmodium and other blood-feeding parasites to avoid the toxicity of free heme derived from the digestion of hemoglobin during invasion of the erythrocytes.

Schwarzer E, Turrini F, Ulliers D, Giribaldi G, Ginsburg H, Arese P. Impairment of macrophage functions after ingestion of Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes or isolated malarial pigment. J Exp Med. 1992 Oct 1;176(4):1033-41
Amodu OK, Adeyemo AA, Olumese PE, Ketiku O, Gbadegesin RA. Intraleucocyte malaria pigment in asymptomatic and uncomplicated malaria. East Afr Med J. 1997 Nov;74(11):714-6. PMID: 9557443.
Turrini F, Schwarzer E, Arese P. The involvement of hemozoin toxicity in depression of cellular immunity. Parasitol Today. 1993 Aug;9(8):297-300. doi: 10.1016/0169-4758(93)90129-4. PMID: 15463787.

Hemozoin (malaria pigment) is found in many tissues during malaria infections. In mice that have self-cured from Plasmodium yoelii and Plasmodium chabaudi infections, liver hemozoin concentration and total content decreased for 6-9 months after parasite clearance. However, both spleen hemozoin concentration and total hemozoin content increased dramatically during this time period. Thus, hemozoin or hemozoin-laden macrophages continue to accumulate in murine spleens for at least several months after malaria parasitemia becomes undetectable.

Levesque MA, Sullivan AD, Meshnick SR. Splenic and hepatic hemozoin in mice after malaria parasite clearance. J Parasitol. 1999 Jun ;85(3) :570-3. PMID: 10386458.

This is well described in a recent paper. Plasmodium infection impairs host immunity to diverse bacteria, including S. pneumoniae, through multiple effects on innate immunity, and that a parasite-specific factor (Hz+bound bioactive molecules) directly contributes to Plasmodium-induced suppression of antibacterial innate immunity biomolecules. Due to the highly amphiphilic nature of hemozoin these biomolecules easily adsorb to hemozoin crystals.
There remain important knowledge gaps that impede treatment of bacteria co-infections during malaria. Few studies have looked directly at the interactions between innate immune cells and Hz in the context of in vivo bacterial infection. Malaria and tuberculosis (TB) endemic regions overlap considerably, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Although it is very likely that co-infections occur in these regions, not much is known about malaria-TB co-infections in humans, and how the interplay between these two infections might affect the prognosis of co-infected individuals.
Hemozoin isolated from Plasmodium infected mice containing naturally associated bioactive molecules, such as host and parasite-derived proteins and lipids significantly impaired the ability of splenic phagocytes to control growth of intracellular bacteria.
Following erythrocyte rupture, Hz is released into circulation and engulfed by phagocytic cells resulting in deposition in tissues and organs such as spleen, liver, brain, lungs, and bone marrow.
In their study with Plasmodium yoelii infected mice, they found a decreased survival of infected mice following Salmonella pneumonia infection. Bacterial burdens trended higher in the lungs and were significantly higher in both the blood and spleen. These data demonstrate that Plasmodium infection also impairs control of bacteremia, and that the Plasmodium-driven susceptibility is prevalent beyond clearance of infected RBCs from peripheral circulation. This impaired antimicrobial functions of innate immune cells from African children with uncomplicated malaria was found to last up to 8 weeks after antimalarial treatment.
Production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is an important antibacterial effector mechanism used by phagocytic cells that is necessary for immunity to a multitude of bacterial pathogens. The results of this study clearly identify impairment of ROS production in neutrophils as a potential mechanism by which Plasmodium suppresses antibacterial innate immunity during systemic bacterial infections. An association between pulmonary pathology (SARS) and the levels of Hz deposition was also found.
The impairment of ROS is not surprising, because during the parasite’s erythrocytic life cycle stages, it produces hemozoin to avoid oxidative stress

Harding CL, Villarino NF, Valente E, Schwarzer E, Schmidt NW. Plasmodium Impairs Antibacterial Innate Immunity to Systemic Infections in Part Through Hemozoin-Bound Bioactive Molecules. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2020 Jun 30; 10:328. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2020.00328. PMID: 32714882

A study in Portugal confirmed that repeated malarial episodes will lead to increased Hz deposition in host organs with potential detrimental effects. If Hz impairs cellular functions, such as phagocytosis and oxidative burst, the ability to kill intracellular bacteria might be impaired. It was also observed that hemozoin-containing macrophages participated in granuloma formation in response to tuberculosis infection. This might prove relevant in the context of a tuberculosis infection by the virulent strain M. tuberculosis, in which tighter control by immune cells is necessary to prevent tuberculosis dissemination.
They found that during incubation of synthetic hemozoin (sHz) with whole blood monocytes and granulocytes readily absorb hemozoin

PMBC cells loaded with hemozoin have a lower phagocytic capacity

The Portuguese study also confirms the reduction of ROS production. The mechanism by which hemozoin ingestion leads to impairment of phagocytosis is not known. However, inhibition of ROS production by hemozoin ingestion seems to be associated to production of lipid peroxidation derivatives, which promote oxidation and damage of essential components of the oxidative response.
They were also impressed by the long residence time of hemozoin in the body. Considering that the average life span of a mouse is around 850 days, it is impressive that hemozoin could still be detected in mouse organs 280 and 140 days. This represents approximately a quarter of the life span of a mouse. Assuming that the same happens in humans and considering that in malaria endemic regions, such as sub-Saharan Africa, the same individual is likely to get infected several times throughout life, then it is likely that the amount of hemozoin accumulated in organs is enormous. If intracellular hemozoin in these organs consistently contributes to impairment of functions of these cells, then affected individuals will potentially have a proportion of immune cells that respond to other pathogens at suboptimal levels.

Frita, Rosangela, Malaria and tuberculosis co-infection: role for hemozoin immunosuppression. Teses de Doutoramento. Universidade de Lisboa, Faculdade de Medicina 2014,

The causal relationship between hemozoin and lung inflammation was investigated and confirmed by injecting P. falciparum-derived hemozoin intravenously into malaria-free mice.

Deroost K, Tyberghein A, Lays N, Noppen. Hemozoin induces lung inflammation and correlates with malaria-associated acute respiratory distress syndrome. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2013 May;48(5):589-600. doi: 10.1165/rcmb.2012-0450OC

The extensive work done by the University of Al-Quds in Palestine on beta-hematin inhibition by Artemisia and other plants may open a large array of possibilities to reduce the hemozoin load in the human body.

Akkawi M, Jaber S, Abu-Remeleh Q, Engeu OP, Lutgen P (2014)
Investigations of Artemisia Annua and Artemisia Sieberi Water Extracts Inhibitory
Effects on Β-Hematin Formation. Med Aromat Plants 3 : 150. doi : 10.4172/2167-

Submitted by Pierre Lutgen on


In April we published the attached paper

       Daddy B, Lutgen P, Gisenya P. Breakthrough against tuberculosis: high efficacy of Artemisia afra infusions. Pharm Pharmacol Int J. 2021;9(2):58‒62.

Independently of these 15 case studies a patient, who was also cured from his TB infection after drinking  Artemisia afra infusion for a few weeks, wanted to have this confirmed by XRay examination.

The medical report confirmed the dispappearance of the tuberculosis infection

(medical report and pictures available on request)

Submitted by Pierre Lutgen on

In previous posts we have described the excellent results obtained by a medical team at Goma in the therapy of tuberculosis.
Daddy B, Lutgen P, Gisenya P. Breakthrough against tuberculosis: high efficacy of Artemisia afra infusions. Pharm Pharmacol Int J. 2021;9(2):58‒62.

I was surprised when I read in the book of a Spanish author very positive comments about another medical team in this same hospital, which has become a worldwide recognized expert team in the surgery of women having suffered sexual abuse. Students from Europe come to Goma for their training in this medical field.

Here a translated excerpt of the book « Africa, la vida denuda » by Alberto Rojas, Penguin Editorial Barcelona, 2018 :
The hospital HEAL Africa, at Goma, capital of North Kivu, is one of those places were people fight to restore the dignity of women having suffered sexual abuse. A concrete example is the surgical operating room of doctor Justin Paluku, probably the cleanest room in all Congo. Tuesdays and Thursdays are dedicated without interruption for surgical interventions on women. The day of 12 hours starts after all those involved attended Holy Mass in the morning. The gynaecologist allowed us to be present during one of his interventions. We entered the room fully dressed in sterile clothing. The attendants just finished to sterilize all the clinical equipment in boiling water. The first patient was Furaha, a young peasant lady from Rwanda of 20 years. The medical team is composed of two anaesthesists, one nurse and two medical students from London, who came for their training: the hospital of Goma has worldwide the reputation to have the best knowhow and results in this difficult field of surgery.“ My grand father father was a nurse, tells us Dr Justin Paluku, everybody respected and loved him in our community. I wanted to follow his example...”

Submitted by Pierre Lutgen on

The medical team from Goma who discovered the extraordinary effect of Artemisia afra on tuberculosis at the Ruanguba hospital, made a follow up and visited 5 healed patients  in the communities where they live. See the peer reviewed paper hereafter for the details of the  study run in 2020.

Daddy B, Lutgen P, Gisenya P. Breakthrough against tuberculosis: high efficacy of Artemisia afra infusions. Pharm Pharmacol Int J. 2021;9(2):58‒62

Dr Daddy reports the following as of July 7, 2021:

1. All of the 5 patients visited have tested negative on Ziehl Neelsen sputum test.

2. Out of  of the 5 patients, 4 have gained weight and no longer cough.

3. One inveterate alcoholic has not gained weight. Fortunately, he does not cough and has no night sweats nor fever. He is being followed by a Pastor to help him cope with alcoholism.

4. All the other 4 patients have resumed working in their gardens and are caring about their respective families.

Submitted by Pierre Lutgen on


Not all CD4 T cells recognize Mycobacterium tuberculosis Mtb-infected macrophage, but the frequency of T cells that recognize infected macrophages could correlate with protective immunity.


       Yash R. Patankar, Rujapak Sutiwisesak, Shayla Boyce Limited recognition of Mycobacterium tuberculosis-infected macrophages by polyclonal CD4 and CD8 T cells from the lungs of infected mice. July 2019 bioRxiv 697805; doi:

T cells primed in the lymph nodes during natural infection may not necessarily recognize antigens presented by Mtb-infected macrophages in the lung. Lung CD4 T cells more sensitively recognize Mtb-infected macrophages than lung CD8 T cells.

     Patankar YR, Sutiwisesak R, Boyce S, Behar SM. Limited recognition of Mycobacterium tuberculosis-infected macrophages by polyclonal CD4 and CD8 T cells from the lungs of infected mice. Mucosal Immunol. 2020 Jan; 13(1):140-148. doi: 10.1038/s41385-019-0217-6. Epub 2019 Oct 21. PMID: 31636345;

Mtb specific CD4 T cells in the lung parenchyma express very high levels of multiple activation markers. Lung tissue migratory capacity, rather than IFN-γ production per se, may be a more important property to consider when evaluating antigen-specific CD4 T cell mediated protection against Mtb. The ability of lymphocytes to exit circulation and enter the lung tissue is likely a key feature of their protective capacity during Mtb infection. Mtb-specific T cells are found in both the lung parenchyma and the lung vasculature and can be distinguished via differential expressions of phenotypic markers and very different functional, migratory and host-protective capacities. 

     Sakai S, Mayer-Barber KD, Barber DL. Defining features of protective CD4 T cell responses to Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Curr Opin Immunol. 2014 Aug;29:137-42. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2014.06.003. PMID: 25000593; PMCID: PMC4122329.

The results of a study demonstrate that the CD4 cell count is depressed in approximately one-half of hospitalized HIV-negative patients with tuberculosis and can be as low as that found in HIV-positive patients. A complex array of T cells are implicated in the immune response to TB, but their relative contribution to protection remains undefined. The authors find that we really know little about CD4 cell control in Mtb and suggest that severity of tuberculosis is best judged by standard clinical and radiographic criteria, and that measurement of the CD4 cell count does not provide additional clinically relevant information in HIV-negative patients with tuberculosis. 

      Jones BE, Oo MM, Taikwel EK, Qian D, Kumar A, Maslow ER, Barnes PF. CD4 cell counts in human immunodeficiency virus-negative patients with tuberculosis. Clin Infect Dis. 1997 May;24(5):988-91. doi: 10.1093/clinids/24.5.988. PMID: 9142808.

     Torrado E, Cooper AM (2011) What Do We Really Know about How CD4 T Cells Control Mycobacterium tuberculosis? PLoS Pathog 7(7): e1002196.

A recent study also shows that specific cells are required. CD4 T cells are essential for resistance to Mtb infection, and for decades it has been thought that IFNγ production is the primary mechanism of CD4 T cell-mediated protection. However, IFNγ  responses do not fully correlate with host protection, and additional antituberculous CD4 T cell effector functions remain unaccounted . The study shows that the superfamily molecule CD153 is required for control of pulmonary Mtb infection. The frequency of Mtb-specific CD153-expressing CD4 T cells inversely correlates with bacterial loads in granulomas. In Mtb infected humans, CD153 defines a subset of highly polyfunctional  Mtb-specific CD4 T cells that are much more abundant in individuals with controlled latent Mtb  infection compared to those with active TB. Thus, CD153 is a major immune mediator of host protection against pulmonary Mtb infection, and CD4 T cells are one important source of this molecule.

       Sallin MA, Kauffman KD, Riou C, Du Bruyn E, , Wilkinson RJ, Barber DL. Host resistance to pulmonary Mycobacterium tuberculosis infection requires CD153 expression. Nat Microbiol. 2018 Nov;3(11):1198-1205. doi: 10.1038/s41564-018-0231-6. Epub 2018 Sep 10. PMID: 30202016.

Mice deficient in either CD30 or CD153, or treated with antibodies blocking the effects or CD30 and CD153, and infected with Mycobacterium avium  or Mycobacterium bovis BCG exhibit higher bacterial burden, abnormal inflammatory responses with decreased Th1 responses, and this is evidenced by the reduced number of IFN-γ-producing cells.These findings suggest that CD30/CD153 interactions during the anti-mycobacterial immune response are important for the establishment and maintenance of a protective response.

        Marín ND, García LF. The role of CD30 and CD153 (CD30L) in the anti-mycobacterial immune response. Tuberculosis (Edinb). 2017 Jan;102:8-15. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2016 Nov 1. PMID: 28061955.

All this was confirmed by a very recent study : the proportion of CD153 -specific CD4 T cells inversely correlates with Mtb bacterial burden, irrespective of HIV status. The mechanism underlying CD153-induced protection against Mtb is still unknown and further mechanistic studies are required to investigate whether Mtb-specific CD4 T cells expressing CD153 is a cause or a consequence of reduced bacterial burden

       Du Bruyn, E., Ruzive, S., Lindestam Arlehamn, C.S. et al. Mycobacterium tuberculosis-specific CD4 T cells expressing CD153 inversely associate with bacterial load and disease severity in human tuberculosis. Mucosal Immunol 14, 491–499 (2021).