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Pierre Lutgen's blog

Why are Artemisia plants prophylactic? The herbicidal hypothesis.

May 29, 2016 - 13:07 -- Pierre Lutgen

Ἓν οἶδα ὅτι οὐδὲν οἶδα

Σωκράτης

Our association IFBV-BELHERB has received numerous anecdotic reports on the prophylactic effects of Artemisia plants. This effect has been documented in scientific papers. Patrick Ogwang from Uganda (Ogwang PE, et al. Trop J Pharm Res. 2012;11:445–53) showed that an infusion of Artemisia annua consumed once weekly reduced the risk of Plasmodium falciparum episodes due to a yet unidentified constituent.

A case of treatment failure and malarone poisoning

May 20, 2016 - 16:00 -- Pierre Lutgen

Reported by Dr Patrice Bouygues, Paris.

A young French traveller was infected by Plasmodium falciparum during a two week stay in Tchad in 2013. He had been treated prophylactilly and therapeutically with Malarone. After his return home he continued suffering from headaches, high fever surges, rachialgies, cardiac troubles... Several medical services were consulted. Despite the absence of noticeable parasites in blood smears, doctors prescribed a more or less continuous malarone and tardyferon treatment.

Pentacyclic triterpenes in antimalarial plants, a new paradigm

May 8, 2016 - 07:48 -- Pierre Lutgen

Many plants have antiplasmodial properties but nobody really knows why some do and others do not. We have paid most of our attention to artemisinin and derivatives, to flavonoids and antioxidants, swamped and blinded by thousands of papers on these molecules, billions invested and earned in ACTs, the prohibition of clinical trials with Artemisia annua by WHO-Geneva, the Vatican of malaria, and the colonial ITG-Antwerp. And we have forgotten that there are other molecules in Artemisia which may play an equivalent or stronger role.

THE BREAKING NEWS PAPER OF MAVONDO

Pulmonary administration of Artemisia afra against tuberculosis

April 29, 2016 - 09:34 -- Pierre Lutgen

Many constituents of medicinal herbs have a low bioavailabity, especially if administered orally. They do not pass the intestinal barrier. This is particularly the case for essential oils. A study (Ryuichi Fujisaki et al., www.tm.mahidol.ac.th/seameo/2012) of the in vitro and in vivo antiplasmodial activity of 47 essential oils showed that several have strong in vitro antiplasmodial activities, with IC50 values < 1.0 µg/ml. But notably these oils showed no efficacy when administered orally.

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.

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