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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 78-86

In vitro antiplasmodial activity of selected plants from the Colombian North Coast with low cytotoxicity

1 Biochemistry and Disease Group, Faculty of Medicine, University of Cartagena; Genome Research Group, Faculty of Health, University of Sinu Elias Bechara Zainum - Cartagena Sectional, Cartagena, Colombia
2 Phytochemical and Pharmacological Research Laboratory, University of Cartagena, Cartagena, Colombia
3 Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology IV, Complutense University of Madrid, Ciudad Universitaria, Madrid, Spain
4 Biochemistry and Disease Group, Faculty of Medicine, University of Cartagena, Cartagena, Colombia

Correspondence Address:
Carlos Moneriz
Biochemistry and Diseases Research Group, Faculty of Medicine, University of Cartagena, Zaragocilla Campus, Cartagena - 130 015
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/tp.tp_9_22

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Background: Plants are an important option in the treatment of malaria, especially in endemic regions, and are a less expensive and more accessible alternative with a lower risk of toxicity. Colombia has a great diversity of plants, and evaluation of natural extracts could result in the discovery of new compounds for the development of antimalarial drugs. The purpose of this work was to evaluate the in vitro antiplasmodial activity and the cytotoxicity of plant extracts from the Colombian North Coast against Plasmodium falciparum. Materials and Methods: The antiplasmodial activity of 12 plant species from the Colombian North Coast that are used in traditional medicine was evaluated through in vitro cultures of P. falciparum, and the cytotoxicity of extracts of these species to human cells was determined. Plant extracts with high antiplasmodial activity were subjected to preliminary phytochemical screening. Results: Extracts from five plants had promising antiplasmodial activity. Specifically, Bursera simaruba (Burseraceae) (bark), Guazuma ulmifolia Lam. (Malvaceae) (whole plant), Murraya exotica L. (Rutaceae) (leaves), Hippomane mancinella L. (Euphorbiaceae) (seeds), and Capparis odoratissima Jacq. (Capparaceae) (leaves). Extracts presented 50% inhibitory concentration values between 1 and 9 μg/ml. Compared to no extract, these active plant extracts did not show cytotoxic effects on mononuclear cells or hemolytic activity in healthy human erythrocytes. Conclusions: The results obtained from this in vitro study of antiplasmodial activity suggest that active plant extracts from the Colombian North Coast are promising for future bioassay-guided fractionation to allow the isolation of active compounds and to elucidate their mechanism of action against Plasmodium spp.

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