MWJ2014, 5, 11
The search for new antimalarial drugs is urgently needed, especially drugs that can impede the heme detoxification pathway in the malaria parasite, a crucial requirement for parasite survival in host erythrocytes. Water infusions of Artemisia annua plants from two different origins, Cameroon and Luxembourg, were used in this study. Extracts from the leaves of the Cameroon plant showed a higher potential antimalarial activity, represented by a higher ability to inhibit β-haematin formation in vitro than A. annua extracts from Luxembourg. Although extracts of the plants of both origins showed comparable efficiencies at high concentrations, the absorbance value at 405 nm of a 10% dilution of the Cameroon plant extract was 0.075, whereas it was 1.515 for the Luxembourg plant extract. The absorbance is inversely proportional to the antimalarial activity. According to the Prep-HPLC chromatogram of the Cameroon crude sample, seven major compounds at 325 nm were found. However, only four much less pronounced compounds appeared in the Luxembourg crude sample under the same chromatographic conditions and concentration. These were preliminarily identified as polyphenolic compounds. A. annua infusions are widely used by people who cannot afford other treatments. Depending on the cultivation locality different chemical profiles exist. This results in differences in hemozoin formation and will therefore also lead to alterations in antimalarial activity.