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RESEARCH ARTICLE
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Comparison of the antimalarial activity of a Colombian traditional Uitoto remedy with laboratory preparations


1 Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Sede Bogotá, Facultad de Ciencias, Departamento de Farmacia, FaMeTra research group (traditional and Popular medicine Pharmacology), Colombia
2 Uitoto representative, Km 7 Via Leticia Tarapaca, Comunidad Ciudad Hitoma, Leticia, Colombia
3 Institut de Recherche pour le développement, IRD Représentation Ban Naxay, Saysettha District., Vientiane, Lao PDR

Correspondence Address:
Giovanny Garavito,
Cra 30 No 45-03, Edificio 450, Lab. 306 Bogotá D.C. 111311
Colombia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0972-9062.310868

Background & objectives: In Colombian Amazonia, Uitoto indigenous people use a preparation of Curarea toxicofera (Menispermaceae) to prevent and treat malaria. To open the way for the production of a standardized herbal remedy, we compared the activity of the traditional preparation with laboratory preparations. Methods: People were interviewed on their mode of use and preparation of what is considered the best remedy against fevers in this area. The herbal remedy was prepared according to the healer’s recommendations. The plant was also submitted to continuous distillation and percolation extraction. The preparations were then tested against Plasmodium falciparum, in vitro. Traditional preparation and extract obtained by percolation were tested on Plasmodium berghei infected mice. Chemical profiles were also explored by thin-layer chromatography. Results: Yields of extraction were around 7% in the preparations (percolation was the most efficient). The phytochemical profile showed a mix of steroids, flavonoids and alkaloids qualitatively similar in all preparations. In vitro, the extracts showed inhibitory concentration 50 <10μg/mL: the traditional preparation was almost 3 times less active than laboratory preparations. In vivo, percolation was also more active than traditional preparation, inhibiting 78% of the parasite growth at 400mg/kg/day by oral route. Interpretation & conclusion: Pharmacological activities suggest that both the original remedy (prepared according to traditional pharmacopeia) and the extracts obtained by percolation extraction exhibit relevant antiparasitic activity. C. toxicofera should therefore be considered for the elaboration of an improved traditional medicine by implementing toxicological studies and carefully following quality control guidelines for its preparation.


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    -  Rodriguez ZJ
    -  Rodríguez YV
    -  García JO
    -  Arias MH
    -  Deharo E
    -  Garavito G
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