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Tokai J Exp Clin Med. 1990 Nov;15(6):417-23.

Effects of berberine, a plant alkaloid, on the growth of anaerobic protozoa in axenic culture.

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Department of Parasitology, School of Medicine, Tokai University, Japan.


Extracts obtained by organic solvents from the root of Coptis teeta in Myanmar (Burma), were tested for growth inhibitory activity against Giardia lamblia, Trichomonas vaginalis and Entamoeba histolytica in axenic culture. All extracts had anti-protozoal activity with the methanol extract, in particular, being effective against all 3 parasites. By chromatographic analysis, the extracts were shown to contain berberine compounds and other alkaloids. Comparing the inhibitory effects of the methanol extract with berberine sulfate, a berberine salt previously shown to possess inhibitory activity, it was observed that the crude extract was more effective than the salt. This suggests that the greater inhibitory activity of the crude extract may be due to the cumulative contributions of its contained berberines and alkaloids. Based on these findings, it appears that the berberine compounds may be useful as chemotherapeutic agents against the 3 parasites tested.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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