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Redox Rep. 2003;8(5):272-5.

Methylene blue as an antimalarial agent.

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Biochemistry Center, Heidelberg University, Heidelberg Germany.


Methylene blue has intrinsic antimalarial activity and it can act as a chloroquine sensitizer. In addition, methylene blue must be considered for preventing methemoglobinemia, a serious complication of malarial anemia. As an antiparasitic agent, methylene blue is pleiotropic: it interferes with hemoglobin and heme metabolism in digestive organelles, and it is a selective inhibitor of Plasmodium falciparum glutathione reductase. The latter effect results in glutathione depletion which sensitizes the parasite for chloroquine action. At the Centre de Recherche en Santé de Nouna in Burkina Faso, we study the combination of chloroquine with methylene blue (BlueCQ) as a possible medication for malaria in endemic regions. A pilot study with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase-sufficient adult patients has been conducted recently.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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