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In vitro antiplasmodial activity of crude extracts of Tetrapleura tetraptera and Copaifera religiosa

Jean Bernard Lekana-Douki134*, Sandrine Lydie Oyegue Liabagui13, Jean Bernard Bongui2, Rafika Zatra1, Jacques Lebibi2 and Fousseyni S Toure-Ndouo1

Author Affiliations

1 Unité de Parasitologie Médicale (UPARAM), Centre International de Recherches Médicales de Franceville (CIRMF) B.P. 769 Franceville, Gabon

2 Unité de Recherches en chimie, Faculté des Sciences, Université des Sciences et Techniques de Masuku, B.P. 943 Franceville, Gabon

3 Département de Parasitologie-Mycologie Médecine Tropicale, Faculté de Médecine, Université des Sciences de la Santé, B.P. 4009 Libreville, Gabon

4 Unité de Parasitologie Médicale Centre International de Recherches Médicales de Franceville (CIRMF), Département de Parasitologie-Mycologie Médecine Tropicale, Faculté de Médecine Université des Sciences de la Santé. B.P. 769 Franceville Gabon

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BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:506  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-506

Published: 23 November 2011

Abstract

Background

Malaria remains a major public health problem, especially in tropical and subtropical regions because of the emergence and widespread of antimalarial drug resistance. Traditional medicine represents one potential source of new treatments. Here, we investigated the in vitro antiplasmodial activity of bark extracts from two Fabaceae species (Tetrapleura tertaptera and Copaifera religiosa) traditionally used to treat malaria symptoms in Haut-Ogooué province, Gabon.

Findings

The antiplasmodial activity of dichloromethane and methanolic extracts was tested on P. falciparum strains FCB (chloroquine-resistant) and 3D7 (chloroquine-sensitive) and on fresh clinical isolates, using the DELI method. Host cell toxicity was analyzed on MRC-5 human diploid embryonic lung cells using the MTT test.

The dichloromethane extracts of the two plants had interesting activity (IC50 between 8.5 ± 4.7 and 13.4 ± 3.6 μg/ml). The methanolic extract of Tetrapleura tetraptera was less active (IC50 around 30 μg/ml) and the methanolic extract of Copaifera religiosa was inactive. The selectivity index (toxicity/antiplasmodial activity) of the dichloromethane extract of Tetrapleura tetraptera was high (around 7), while the dichloromethane extract of Copaifera religiosa had the lowest selectivity (0.6). The mean IC50 values for field isolates were less than 1.5 μg/ml for dichloromethane extracts of both plants, while methanolic extracts of Tetrapleura tetraptera showed interesting activity (IC50 = 13.1 μg/ml). The methanolic extract of Copaifera religiosa was also inactive on field isolates.

Conclusions

Dichloromethane extracts of Tetrapleura tetraptera and Copaifera religiosa, two plants used to treat malaria in Gabon, had interesting antiplasmodial activity in vitro. These data provide a scientific rationale for the traditional use of these plants against malaria symptoms. Bioactivity-guided phytochemical analyses are underway to identify the active compounds.

Keywords:
Plant extracts; Fabaceae, antiplasmodial activity; cytotoxicity; Plasmodium falciparum