Antiplasmodial activity and toxicity of crude extracts from alternatives parts of plants widely used for the treatment of malaria in Burkina Faso: contribution for their preservation

Parasitol Res. 2010 Jan;106(2):335-40. doi: 10.1007/s00436-009-1663-y. Epub 2009 Nov 18.


In order to prevent the destruction of the ecology and to sustain the flora mainly for medicinal plants, we investigated on alternative parts taken from four plants already known to display antiplasmodial activities and largely used by traditional healers in sub-Saharan Africa. The evaluated parts are bark of trunk for Zanthoxylum zanthoxyloides and leaves for Sarcocephalus latifolius instead of roots, and leaves for Combretum molle and Anogeissus leiocarpus instead of stem bark. The antiplasmodial activity of extracts of these plants was evaluated in vitro using the multi-resistant strain (W2) of Plasmodium falciparum. Antiproliferative activity was also assessed, using K562S human monocyte cell lines, along with calculation of the selectivity index (SI) of each extract. The highest in vitro antiplasmodial activity was found in the alkaloid extract of trunk bark from Z. zanthoxyloides and from the MeOH extract of A. leiocarpus leaves (IC(50) = 1.2 microg/mL and 4.9 microg/mL, respectively) with good selectivity index. Moderate activity was found in the MeOH extract (IC(50) = 5.7 microg/mL) and MeOH/H2O extract (IC(50) = 7.9 microg/mL) of C. molle leaves. Moderate activity was also found in the MeOH/H20 extract (IC(50) = 5.2 microg/mL) and the decoction (IC(50) = 8.2 microg/mL) from leaves of A. leiocarpus. No good activity was found with extracts from roots of S. latifolius. All extracts tested displayed low levels of cytotoxicity against K562S cells. The data generated clearly show that the trunk bark for Z. zanthoxyloides and the leaves for A. leiocarpus and C. molle could be used for the treatment of malaria instead of roots and stem bark.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antimalarials / pharmacology*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Complex Mixtures / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Inhibitory Concentration 50
  • Monocytes / drug effects
  • Plant Bark / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Leaves / chemistry
  • Plant Stems / chemistry
  • Plants, Medicinal / chemistry*
  • Plasmodium falciparum / drug effects*


  • Antimalarials
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Complex Mixtures
  • Plant Extracts