Research - Insect-Borne Infections
Malaria, Lyme Disease etc.
SAYE: The Story of an Antimalarial Phytomedicine from Burkina Faso
Zéphirin Dakuyo, DPharm,1 Aline Lamien Meda, PhD,2 Da Ollo, MSc,3 Martin Kiendrebeogo, PhD,2Maminata Traoré-Coulibaly, PhD,3 Johannes Novak, PhD,4 Françoise Benoit-Vical, PhD,5 Emma Weisbord,MSc,6 and Merlin Willcox, BM, BCh, MRCGP6
1Phytofla, Banfora, Burkina Faso.
2Laboratoire de Biochimie & Chimie Appliquées (LABIOCA), University of Ouagadougou, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
3Direction Régionale de l'Institut de Recherche en Sciences de la Santé (IRSS-DRO/CNRST), Bobo-Dioulasso,Burkina Faso.
4Institute of Animal Nutrition and Functional Plant Compounds, University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, Vienna,Austria.
5CNRS/LCC (Laboratoire de Chimie de Coordination) and Université de Toulouse III, Toulouse, France.
6Nuffield Department of Primary Health Care Sciences, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom.
Malaria is one of the most important health problems in Burkina Faso and is thought to account for 11%–32% of deaths according to different verbal autopsy techniques.1 The law in Burkina Faso officially recognizes traditional medicine as part of the health system (Loi No 23/94/ADP). The national policy on traditional medicine aims to integrate traditional medical practices and medicinal products derived from the traditional pharmacopoeia into the national health care system in order to improve access to medicines for the whole population. One strategy is to strengthen collaboration between practitioners of traditional and modern medicine, and another is to promote scientific research on traditional medicine and pharmacopoeia. This is consistent with the World Health Organization's strategy for traditional medicine in Africa.2,3
Dr. Zéphirin Dakuyo was the first pharmacist to be posted in Banfora Hospital in Southwest Burkina Faso, in 1983. At the time, chloroquine was the first-line treatment for malaria, but it has since been abandoned because of high levels of drug resistance.4 He soon received feedback from patients that they did not like the adverse effects of chloroquine, such as pruritus. They preferred to treat themselves with herbal medicines, in particular the roots ofN'Dribala (Cochlospermum planchonii) (Fig. 1). However, they did not have time to collect this medicinal plant themselves, so Dr. Dakuyo, with support from the hospital staff, started to harvest and package it for the patients. The medicine was sold at the hospital to patients with malaria and was also provided to community health workers to supply to patients.
.....Hepatitis is also common in Burkina Faso, and no treatment had been available locally. C. planchonii is traditionally used to treat jaundice, and, on the basis of research in India, Dr Dakuyo decided to combine this with Phyllanthus amarus, which had been shown to be effective against hepatitis, as well as Cassia alata, which was also used for treating jaundice, malaria, and constipation. He called this mixture SAYE, which literally means “jaundice” in the local Dioula language (Fig. 2). SAYE is manufactured by mixing the three dried and coarsely chopped ingredients in the proportions given in Table 2. It is sold in a box of 175 g of the chopped, dried plant parts. Patients are instructed to mix 3 tablespoons of the dried plant material in two glasses of water, boil the mixture for 5 minutes, filter it, and drink it. Adults should drink one large glass three times a day, and children age 7 years and older are advised to drink half a glass three times a day for 5 days. After a short time, Dr. Dakuyo received feedback from patients that SAYE was even more effective than N'Dribala for treating malaria, and patients started buying it for this condition. In 1986, Dr. Dakuyo also developed capsules of powdered SAYE because he found that many patients did not have time to boil the herbs every day. The recommended dose is three capsules, three times a day. SAYE tea was officially licenced as an antimalarial phytomedicine in Burkina Faso in 2005.
Source : Journal Alternative and Complementary Medicine
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Betulinic Acid and Its Derivatives: A Review on their Biological Properties
Perumal Yogeeswari* and Dharmarajan Sriram
Pharmacy Department, Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani-333031, INDIA
Betulinic acid is a naturally occurring pentacyclic triterpenoid and has been shown to exhibit a variety of biological activities including inhibition of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), antibacterial,antimalarial, anti inflammatory, anthelmintic and antioxidant properties. This article reports a survey of the literature dealing with betulinic acid related biological properties that has appeared from the 1990’s to the beginning of 2003. A broad range of medical and pharmaceutical disciplines are covered, including a brief introduction about discovery, phytochemical aspects, organic synthesis, anti-HIV and cytotoxic mechanisms ofaction. Various structural modifications carried out and their biological and pharmacokinetic profiles are also incorporated.
Source : Current Medicinal Chemistry
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Mycology against malaria
Insect-borne infections take an appalling toll across much of the world, and they're turning up in new places. Tom Marshall finds out how fungi could help us fight back.
Insect-transmitted disease is a tragic fact of life for many in tropical and subtropical areas, killing people and livestock and causing immense suffering and economic loss. Now climate change and ever-more-intricate transport networks mean the threat is spreading. Warmer, wetter weather creates new habitats for the vector insects that transmit infections.
A recent midge-borne Bluetongue outbreak cost France alone an estimated €1 billion, and people have already died from emerging diseases in southern Europe. Mosquitoes previously confined to the tropics are appearing in new areas; members of the tough Aedes genus are now firmly established in Italy and have been found as far north as the Netherlands, hitchhiking in cargoes of old tyres and the popular houseplant lucky bamboo.
Some experts even fear that malaria - a deadly threat that's been almost unknown in Europe for generations - could be on the verge of returning, spread by the Anopheles mosquito genus. Less familiar diseases are appearing too; authorities have already found insects that carry viruses like chikungunya and yellow fever in the wild.
Threats on the horizonThe European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control monitors the fringes of Europe to get early warning of new dangers before they arrive in force, but it's likely some will get through. Professor Tariq Butt of Swansea University is involved with several projects aimed at developing new techniques that will help in the fight against insect-borne diseases both in new territories and in the regions they've troubled for millennia.
He's an expert on entomopathogenic (insect-killing) fungi - particularly Metarhizium anisopliae, or green muscardine fungus. This is deadly to many arthropods, and has already been turned into an innovative biological pesticide that kills crop pests without harming beneficial insect species.
Butt's attention has now turned to insects and other arthropods that carry disease, and he thinks Metarhizium can help fight continent-spanning scourges like malaria and dengue as well as rarer infections like Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever.
Until recently efforts to control insect-borne disease have relied on chemical insecticides, but these have major drawbacks. They're costly, they can pose serious health risks if used incorrectly (the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants says ten of the 12 most dangerous and persistent chemicals are pesticides) and they kill bugs indiscriminately - not just disease carriers, but predators that eat them, pollinators that are vital for local crops and anything else in the area.
Target species eventually develop resistance to chemical treatments too, so ever-greater quantities must be applied. Because of all this, policy-makers are imposing increasingly stringent controls that mean many formerly-popular pesticides are no longer on the market at all.
Known strains of Metarhizium are deadly to vectors including mosquitoes, midges and ticks. The fungus kills adults and juveniles alike, but ignores non-target species and doesn't pollute the environment. It's harmless to humans, and target insects can't develop immunity. Butt is working with projects investigating its potential all over Africa, Turkey and the Middle East, collaborating with organisations from NGOs and pest-control companies to the US military.
Metarhizium won't solve all our insect problems alone. But it's a promising tool, taking its place as part of an integrated control strategy alongside methods like pheromone lures, mass trapping and releasing sterile insects.
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Source : Planet Earth Online
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Massage therapy for lyme disease symptoms: a prospective case study.
Thomason MJ, Moyer CA.
Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Stout, Menomonie, WI, USA.
INTRODUCTION: To study the effects of massage therapy (MT) on Lyme disease (LD) symptoms and affect.
METHODS: A 21-year-old female college student previously diagnosed with LD was recruited for a prospective case study that incorporated alternating periods of treatment and nontreatment across 65 days. Her self-reported symptoms of pain, fatigue, and impairment of concentration were assessed by means of a daily diary with corresponding visual analog scales. Immediate effects of MT on affect were assessed by completion of the Positive and Negative Affect Scales before and after each treatment session.
RESULTS: LD symptoms decreased during treatment periods and increased during nontreatment periods. Positive affect was increased at every MT session.
CONCLUSIONS: MT is a promising treatment for the symptoms pain, fatigue, and impaired concentration associated with LD. In addition, MT reliably increased positive affect. Massage therapists should consider using light-to-medium pressure MT for treatment of persons who present with a similar pattern of LD symptoms, and further research with this population is warranted.
Source : Int J Ther Massage Bodywork. 2012;5(4):9-14.
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Terebinthina Laricina in Borreliosis: Comparison with Antibiotic Therapies
Im Amann 7, D-88662, Uberlingen, Germany
Lyme disease antibiotic therapy regimens are recommended by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the Infectious Disease Society of America, and the National Institutes of Health. Alternative approaches consist of prolonged antibiotic treatment however Lyme disease often results in persistent Borrelia burgdorferi infection. Continuous antibiotic therapy results in low lymphocyte levels thus cannot be applied for long term without harm.
Objectives: Alternative approaches for treatment of Lyme borreliosis are required, which successfully reduce or erase bacteria without affecting the human cells. Terebinthina laricina, an alcoholic extract of Larix decidua resin was selected for a pilot study to treat a patient with neuroborreliosis.
Results: After six weeks of treatment, the patient shows a strong Herxheimer reaction. No disease progression occurs, within weeks she recovers from most of the Lyme disease specific symptoms. Elispot results indicate no bacterial activity.
Conclusion: This new principle of Lyme disease treatment shows high potential to provide a smooth medical treatment for neuroborreliosis.
Source : Journal of Homeopathy and Ayurvedic Medicine
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