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Pierre Lutgen's blog

Malaria, folates and PABA

March 30, 2016 - 17:38 -- Pierre Lutgen

Folates combine three molecules : pretidine & para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) & glutamate. They were discovered around 1940 and first isolated from spinach leaves. The term folate is derived from the latin word folium.

The malaria parasite has a unique feature of being able to salvage exogenous folate derivatives and/or synthesize them de novo. Due to its high rate of replication, the parasite has a high demand for folates. Folate metabolism is the target of several antimalarials.

Artemisia afra will save Africa

March 23, 2016 - 16:23 -- Pierre Lutgen

A very recent paper of a South African research team shows that among 8 medicinal plants Artemisia afra has the lowest IC50 for impairing the development of late stage gametocytes (P Moyo et al., J of Ethnopharmacology, acceopted 15 March). A very important finding as not many plants have such a significant gametocytocidal effect.

Artemisia plants, prophylaxis and gut microbiota

March 8, 2016 - 08:11 -- Pierre Lutgen

The human gut microbiota has become the subject of extensive research in recent years and our knowledge of the resident species and their potential functional capacity is rapidly growing. Our gut harbours a complex community of over 100 trillion microbial cells which influence human physiology, metabolism, nutrition and immune function while disruption to the gut microbiota has been linked with many diseases.

Are Artemisias the only plants containing arachidonic acid?

February 26, 2016 - 18:24 -- Pierre Lutgen

ARACHIDONIC ACID AND FEVER

Arachidonic acid (AA or ARA) is an extremely important fatty acid involved in cell regulation. It is a polyunsaturated fatty acid (20:4n6) covalently bound in esterified form in membrane phospholipids of most body cells. Following irritation or injury, arachidonic acid is released and oxygenated by enzyme systems leading to the formation of an important group of inflammatory mediators, to the prostaglandins products (PGE₂) by the cyclooxygenase enzyme.

Antiretrovirals and antimalarials (FRENCH VERSION). Un mélange fatal!

February 19, 2016 - 08:57 -- Pierre Lutgen

Lors de la conférence du 19 mai 2014 à l’Université du Nebraska qui portait sur le SIDA, F.A. Fehintola montrait que la nevapirine prescrite simultanément avec l’artemether-lumefantrine (Coartem) réduisait de 70% la concentration du principe actif lumefantrine dans le sang infecté.

Ceci ne fait que confirmer des résultats obtenus en Afrique du Sud (T Kredo , Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2011 Dec; 55(12):5616-23). L’artemether et la nevapirine sont métabolisés par le cytochrome P450 3A4 induit par la nevapirine.

Artesunate causes recrudescence, Artemisia however kills gametocytes

February 16, 2016 - 11:03 -- Pierre Lutgen

A paper from Mali published last week is alarming (AA Djimbe et al., Parasite, 2016. 23, 3). Artesunate does not clear mature gametocytes during oral artesunate treatment and does not prevent the appearance of new gametocytes. This confirms to a large extent the randomized, double blind, large scale clinical trials of Munyanga and Idumbo in Maniema-Congo end of last year (see www.malariaworld.org).

Artemisia defeats schistosomiasis

February 9, 2016 - 12:53 -- Pierre Lutgen

In parallel with the clinical trials run by a team of medical doctors in the province of Maniema on the efficiency of Artemisia annua and Artemisia afra against malaria, (see Breaking News Jan.5 on www.malariaworld.org) they have completed another large scale randomized, double blind trial against schistosomiasis, Artemisia vs Praziquantel.

The strong prophylactic and antimalarial properties of polyunsaturated fatty acids.

February 3, 2016 - 13:08 -- Pierre Lutgen

ABSTRACT

Artemisia plants are rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) which generate prostaglandins and stimulate monocytes. PUFAs possess well documented antimalarial and prophylactic properties. Their half-life in plasma is several days and in adipose tissue several weeks. This may explain the prophylactic effect of regular consumption of Artemisia infusion or powder.

INTRODUCTION

Breaking news from clinical trials with Artemisia plants

January 5, 2016 - 15:30 -- Pierre Lutgen

A team of medical doctors in RDCongo, Jerome Munyangi and Michel Idumbo, have run randomized clinical trials on a large scale in the Maniema province with the participation of some 1000 malaria infected patients. The trials were run in conformity with the WHO procedures and compared Artemisia annua and Artemisia afra with ACTs (Coartem and ASAQ). For all the parameters tested herbal treatment was significantly better than ACTs: faster clearance for fever and parasitemia, absence of parasites on day 28 for 99.5% of the Artemisia treatments and 79.5% only for the ACT treatments.

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