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World J Pharmacol. Dec 9, 2014; 3(4): 39-55
Published online Dec 9, 2014. doi: 10.5497/wjp.v3.i4.39
Dried-leaf Artemisia annua: A practical malaria therapeutic for developing countries?
Pamela J Weathers, Melissa Towler, Ahmed Hassanali, Pierre Lutgen, Patrick Ogwang Engeu
Pamela J Weathers, Melissa Towler, Department of Biology and Biotechnology, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA 01609, United States
Ahmed Hassanali, School of Pure and Applied Sciences, Kenyatta University, Nairobi 20100, Kenya
Pierre Lutgen, IFBV-BELHERB, PO Box 98, L-6908 Niederanven, Luxembourg
Patrick Ogwang Engeu, Natural Chemotherapeutics Research Institute, Ministry of Health, PO Box 4864 Kampala, Uganda
Author contributions: Weathers PJ, Towler M, Hassanali A, Lutgen P and Engeu PO all participated in writing the article; Hassanali A, Lutgen P and Engeu PO provided clinical data; Weathers PJ and Towler M conducted analyses of lab and field samples.
Supported by Worcester Polytechnic Institute and University of Massachusetts Center for Clinical and Translational Science partially; partially by Award Number NIH-R15AT008277-01 from the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Correspondence to: Pamela J Weathers, Professor, Department of Biology and Biotechnology, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 100 Institute Rd., Worcester, MA 01609, United States.
Telephone: +1-508-8315196 Fax: +1-508-8315936
Received: June 25, 2014
Revised: September 9, 2014
Accepted: October 1, 2014
Published online: December 9, 2014
Core Tip

Core tip: Artemisinin, extracted from the plant Artemisia annua (A. annua) L., and artemisinin derivatives are the current best antimalarial therapeutics and are delivered as artemisinin combination therapy (ACT). Availability and cost are problematic for the developing world where malaria is endemic. Oral consumption of A. annua dried leaves is more effective than the pure drug. A tea infusion of the leaves has prophylactic effects. Cost of producing and delivering the tea and A. annua dried leaf tablets is much more affordable than ACT.