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J Pharmacol Toxicol Methods. 1994 Sep;32(1):25-30.

Analysis of malaria pigment from Plasmodium falciparum.

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Department of Experimental and Clinical Pharmacology, University of the Witwatersrand, Parktown, Johannesburg, South Africa.


The biochemical pathway for the production of malaria pigment (haemozoin) forms a fundamental difference between host and parasite and is likely to be an important drug target. A simple method for the isolation of malaria pigment is described. The resultant product retained the in vivo crystalline appearance of pigment as judged by polarizing microscopy. Conditions were found for the disaggregation and separation of pigment. As malaria pigment can adsorb drugs, haem, and iron, such separation techniques are useful tools for studies on the impairment of haemoglobin digestion and pigment formation by antimalarials.

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