First publication from the Artemisia Consortium
“Traditional infusions used in Africa are effective in vitro against malaria in many ways.”
An in vitro study, published in the journal Life Science Alliance, presents several major findings regarding traditional infusions of Artemisia annua and afra:
- The infusions are a potential preventive treatment for malaria. Low concentrations of either of the infusions, by acting on the parasite injected by the mosquito, prevent it from entering the bloodstream where it causes the disease.
- A. annua and A. afra have a therapeutic activity by acting directly on the blood stages of Plasmodium falciparum.
- Les infusions pourraient permettre d’éviter The infusions could prevent relapses of malaria attacks, characteristic of Vivax and P. ovale.
Both disrupt the “awakening” of hypnozoites, responsible for relapses, several years after a primary infection.
They are an alternative treatment to Primaquine, the only effective treatment to date, but unusable for the populations of South East Asia, who are very much affected.
- A. annua and afra contain antimalarial molecules, in addition to artemisinin, which are yet to be determined
The study shows that the antiplasmodial effects of the infusions are mainly related to compounds other than artemisinin.
These observations argue for further screening to discover new antimalarial compounds, which are urgently needed.
According to Prof. Dominique Mazier, professor emeritus at the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital:
“It is urgent to conduct clinical studies to verify whether our laboratory results are confirmed on humans. Millions of people in Asia, Africa and Latin America use traditional infusions of Artemisia annua and afra on a daily basis. This interest in plants reflects the lack of molecules, their unavailability, their price and the counterfeits in circulation. Let’s stop unproductive debates and finalize the implementation of rigorous and independent trials to evaluate what components Artemisia have to offer us, in addition to the artemisinin already discovered by Youyou Tu, Nobel Prize 2015.”
The Artemisia Consortium is an independent consortium of a dozen world-renowned research organizations, which is responsible for evaluating the effectiveness of Artemisia annua and afra herbal teas in the fight against malaria.
2 December 2021. DOI: 10.26508/lsa.202101237
Pr. Dominique Mazier (Pitié-Salpêtrière), Médecin-chercheuse en immuno-parasitologie. Sorbonne Université, INSERM, CNRS, Centre d’Immunologie et des Maladies Infectieuses-CIMI.