Send to

Choose Destination
Pharmacol Res. 2017 Mar;117:192-217. doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2016.11.012. Epub 2016 Nov 17.

Artemisinin and its derivatives in treating protozoan infections beyond malaria.

Author information

Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery, Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510080, Guangdong, China.
Laboratory of Malaria and Vector Research, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA; State Key Laboratory of Cellular Stress Biology and School of Life Science, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, Fujian, China.
Department of Parasitology, Zhongshan School of Medicine, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510080, Guangdong, China; Key Laboratory of Tropical Disease Control (Sun Yat-sen University), Ministry of Education, Guangzhou 510080, Guangdong, China. Electronic address:


Parasitic protozoan diseases continue to rank among the world's greatest global health problems, which are also common among poor populations. Currently available drugs for treatment present drawbacks, urging the need for more effective, safer, and cheaper drugs. Artemisinin (ART) and its derivatives are some of the most important classes of antimalarial agents originally derived from Artemisia annua L. However, besides the outstanding antimalarial and antischistosomal activities, ART and its derivatives also possess activities against other parasitic protozoa. In this paper we review the activities of ART and its derivatives against protozoan parasites in vitro and in vivo, including Leishmania spp., Trypanosoma spp., Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum, Eimeria tenella, Acanthamoeba castellanii, Naegleria fowleri, Cryptosporidium parvum, Giardia lamblia, and Babesia spp. We conclude that ART and its derivatives may be good alternatives for treating other non-malarial protozoan infections in developing countries, although more studies are necessary before they can be applied clinically.


Antiprotozoan activity; Artemisinin; Leishmania spp; Neospora caninum; Toxoplasma gondii; Trypanosoma spp

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center