Parasitology Research

, Volume 111, Issue 1, pp 1–6 | Cite as

From methylene blue to chloroquine: a brief review of the development of an antimalarial therapy

  • Kristine KraftsEmail author
  • Ernst Hempelmann
  • Agnieszka Skórska-Stania


Malarial treatment is widely and readily available today. However, there was a time in the not-so-distant past when malaria was a deadly disease with no known cause or cure. In this article, we trace the origins of an antimalarial therapy from the discovery of the nature of the malarial parasite through the development of chloroquine. We dedicate this article to Johann “Hans” Andersag, the scientist who developed chloroquine, on the 110th anniversary of his birth, 16 February 1902.


Malaria Methylene Blue Chloroquine Atabrine Malarial Parasite 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Bruni L (1476) History of the Florentine people, Edited and translated by James Hankins, 2004. Harvard University Press, HarvardGoogle Scholar
  2. Coatney GR (1963) Pitfalls in a discovery: the chronicle of chloroquine. AmJTrop Med Hyg 12:121–128Google Scholar
  3. Dünschede H-B (1971) Tropenmedizinische Forschung bei Bayer. Michael Triltsch Verlag, DüsseldorfGoogle Scholar
  4. Guttmann P, Ehrlich P (1891) Ueber die Wirkung des Methylenblau bei Malaria. Berliner Klinische Wochenschrift 28:953–956Google Scholar
  5. Hempelmann E (2007) Hemozoin biocrystallization in Plasmodium falciparum and the antimalarial activity of crystallization inhibitors. Parasitol Res 100:671–676PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Klebs E, Tommasi-Crudeli C (1879) Studi Sulla Natura della Malaria, Rome, Italy. Translated by Drummond E, On the nature of malaria. Lond Sel Monogr New Sydenham Soc 1888(121):1–56Google Scholar
  7. Krafts KP, Hempelmann E, Oleksyn BJ (2011) The color purple: from royalty to laboratory, with apologies to Malachowski. Biotech Histochem 86:7–35PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kristine Krafts
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ernst Hempelmann
    • 2
  • Agnieszka Skórska-Stania
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PathologyUniversity of Minnesota School of MedicineDuluthUSA
  2. 2.Department of PharmacologyWitwatersrand UniversityJohannesburgSouth Africa
  3. 3.Department of Crystal Physics and Crystal Chemistry, Faculty of ChemistryJagiellonian UniversityKrakówPoland

Personalised recommendations