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Molecules. 2012 Sep 25;17(10):11379-90.

Study of the in vitro antiplasmodial, antileishmanial and antitrypanosomal activities of medicinal plants from Saudi Arabia.

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Department of Pharmacognosy, College of Pharmacy, King Saud University, P.O. Box 2457, Riyadh 11451, Saudi Arabia.


The present study investigated the in vitro antiprotozoal activity of sixteen selected medicinal plants. Plant materials were extracted with methanol and screened in vitro against erythrocytic schizonts of Plasmodium falciparum, intracellular amastigotes of Leishmania infantum and Trypanosoma cruzi and free trypomastigotes of T. brucei. Cytotoxic activity was determined against MRC-5 cells to assess selectivity. The criterion for activity was an IC₅₀ < 10 μg/mL (<5 μg/mL for T. brucei) and a selectivity index of ≥4. Antiplasmodial activity was found in the extracts of Prosopis juliflora and Punica granatum. Antileishmanial activity against L. infantum was demonstrated in Caralluma sinaica and Periploca aphylla. Amastigotes of T. cruzi were affected by the methanol extract of Albizia lebbeck pericarp, Caralluma sinaica, Periploca aphylla and Prosopius juliflora. Activity against T. brucei was obtained in Prosopis juliflora. Cytotoxicity (MRC-5 IC₅₀ < 10 μg/mL) and hence non-specific activities were observed for Conocarpus lancifolius.

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