Mar, 2022 - By WMR
Newly identified chemical compound called anemonin in a medicinal plant traditionally used in some of the African countries, was found to be effective against malaria
Some of the countries in Africa have been using leaves of a medicinal plant for the treatment of malaria. Now a group of researchers from Arba Minch and Addis Ababa universities, Ethiopia and Martin Luther University, Germany found the active ingredient in the plant that according to the scientists, could be used for the treatment of the malaria as an alternative to pharmaceutical treatments.
The plant used for the treatment of malaria belongs to the buttercup family, which is scientifically known as Ranunculus multifidus. The plant produces a compound chemical called anemonin, when the plant gets damaged or the inside of the plant’s cells are exposed to the air. This chemical compound, anemonin proved to be effective against malaria. The scientists conducted studies on mice, by infecting them with parasite known as Plasmodium berghei known to be causing malaria. Further, the scientists treated the mice with anemonin or chloroquine, which is commonly used for the treatment of malaria. The scientists kept a control group untreated. However, the team found that anemonin was not equally effective as the chloroquine, yet, it reduced the rate of weight loss in the treated mice compare to the control group. Moreover, it was found to be helpful in stabilizing the body temperature of the animal.
According to the scientists, anemonin also works against the disease by affecting the metabolism of the parasite, similar to chloroquine’s mechanism. The chemical compound is believed to be attacking at different body part of the microbes. This finding points to the fact that anemonin could be used in geographical areas where the malaria parasite has become resistant to chloroquine. Furthermore, the team is planning advanced studies to find the specific mechanism behind these results in order to boost the efficiency of anemonin treatment against malaria.
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