Drug Resistance in Plasmodium sp. and Novel Antimalarial Natural Products-Emerging Trends
Malaria is one of the major infectious diseases which continues to be a serious threat in the developing countries. The burden of malaria is getting even worse, because of increase in parasite resistance to the current antimalarial drugs. The resistance to insecticides by mosquitoes has also diminished the hope of malaria eradication in endemic areas. New drugs with unique structure and mechanism of action are immediate needs to treat malaria. The rapid spread of malaria parasite, resistant towards the efficacious artemisinin combination therapy has forced the antimalarial drug discovery programs to identify unique drug targets as well as safe, affordable, and effective new natural antimalarial agents that can compete with synthetic ones. Till date, natural compounds have provided the most effective antimalarials, such as quinine and artemisinin. This raises the possibility that plants might be the sources for more potential antimalaria products. The advantage of natural compounds for the development of drugs derives from their innate affinity for biological receptors, often affordable and accessible for developing countries. The ethnopharmacological approach in natural antimalarial discovery has led to identification of novel lead compounds against malaria. In this book chapter, we review the advancement in discovery of anti-malarial compounds isolated from natural resources.
KeywordsMalaria Plasmodium Antimalarial plants Natural products Traditional medicines Alkaloids
A.N acknowledges the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bangalore. K.S acknowledges Department of Medicine, University of California. L.S.R acknowledges Institut Pasteur.
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