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Antimalarial Studies

Antimalarial Studies

Project Lead(s)
Project Background 

Malaria remains a disease of public health concern despite efforts by the Malaria Control Programme of the Ministry of Health. The disease is still a major cause of morbidity and mortality. The search for alternative therapies for malaria is important due to drug resistance which is a major challenge that confronts malaria control. Several medicinal plants are used in Traditional Medicine Practice to treat malaria. The Department has investigated several medicinal plants and plant-derived compounds for their antimalarial potential. The studies are performed using both in vitro (with Plasmodium falciparum) and in vivo (Plasmodium berghei) systems. The in vitro tests were conducted using chloroquine-sensitive (3D7) and resistant (DD2) Plasmodium falciparum parasite strains with in vitro culture systems. We have identified several medicinal plants and herbal medicines with interesting antimalarial activity and the ability to inhibit parasite growth without altering the integrity of red blood cells. This is a good or desired property of a drug candidate. In addition, our study has reported for the first time anti-plasmodial action of Baphia nitida, Tabernaemontana crassa and Treculia Africana. These bioactive medicinal plant derivatives must be further investigated as alternative antimalarial remedies. Our results have also lent support to the anecdotal evidence of antimalarial activity of some medicinal plant products. Isolation of compounds from bioactive extracts for characterization is ongoing. 

External Collaborator(s) 
Alexander K. Nyarko, PhD, Department of Pharmacology & Toxicology, SOP, UG
Bethel Kwansa-Bentum, PhD, Department of Animal Biology and Conservation Science
Emmanuel Kumatia, PhD, Centre for Plant Medicine Research