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Potential antimalarials from African natural products: a review

Bashir Lawal, Oluwatosin Kudirat Shittu, Adamu Yusuf Kabiru, Ali Audu Jigam, Maimuna Bello Umar, Eustace Bonghan Berinyuy, Blessing Uchenna Alozieuwa.


Ethnopharmacological relevance: Malaria remains an overwhelming infectious disease with significant health challenges in African and other endemic countries globally. Resistance to antimalarial drugs has become one of the most momentous challenges to human health and thus has necessitated the hunt for new and effective drugs. Consequently, few decades have witnessed a surfeit of research geared to validate the effectiveness of commonly used traditionally medicines against malaria fever. The present review work focuses on documenting natural products from African whose activity has been reported in-vivo or invi-tro against malaria parasite. Methods: Literature was collected using electronic search of published articles (Google Scholar, PubMed, Medline, Sciencedirect, Science domain) that report on antiplasmodial activity of natural products from differernts Africa region.
Results: A Total of 652 plant taxa from 146 families, 134 isolated antimalarial compounds from 39 plants species, 2 herbal formulations and 4 insect/products were found to be reported in literature from 1996 to 2015. Plants species from family Asteraceae (11.04%), Fababceae (8.128%), Euphorbiaceae (5.52%), Rubiaceas (5.52%) and Apocyanaceae (5.214%), have received more scientific validation than others. Conclusion: African natural products possess remarkable healing properties as revealed in the various citations as promising antimalarial agents. Some of these natural products from Africa demonstrate high, promising or low activities against plasmodium parasite. This study also shows that natural products from Africa have a huge amount of novel antimalarial compounds that could serve as a leads for the development of new and effective antiplasmodial drugs. However, in a view of bridging the gap in knowledge, clinical validation of these natural products is of paramount importance.

Key words: Africa, Plants, insect, Malarial, Plasmodial

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