One hundred and twenty-five extracts of 122 different plant species traditionally used by the Tacana, a native community living in lowland forest at the base of the last foothills of the Cordillera Oriental of the Bolivian Andes, were screened for antimalarial activity in vitro on Plasmodium falciparum chloroquine resistant (D2) and sensitive strains (F32), and were evaluated in vivo on rodent malaria Plasmodium berghei. Five ethanolic stembark extracts showed marked activity either in vitro or in vivo, and only one of them, Bowdichia virgilioides being traditionally used against malaria, was active in vitro (IC50 = 1 μg/ml on both strains) and in vivo (51% at 100 mg/kg). Other active extracts were from Caesalpinia pluviosa bark displaying activity in vitro against chloroquine resistant strain (IC50 8.3 μg/ml), traditionally used against dysentery; two Lauraceae bark extracts, Nectandra aff. hihua and Licaria canella respectively used for construction purposes and against stomach ache, both displaying activity in vitro against P. falciparum sensible and resistant strains (IC50 around 4 μg/ml); finally, the bark of a strongly aromatic Burseraceae, Protium glabrescens exuding an anti-inflammatory and analgesic resin, was active in vivo only (61% at 100 mg/kg). Results are discussed in relation with Tacana traditional medicine.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The project was financed by the International Foundation for Science, the Fondo Nacional del Medio Ambiente (FONAMA, Cuenta iniciativas para las Americas-EIA) and IRD (Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, France). The authors wish to thank L.R. Chávez de Michel and the National Herbarium of Bolivia (HNB), for helping in the management and determination of voucher herbarium specimens. We express our thanks to members of the Tacana community who were willing to share with us their knowledge about plants.
- Antimalarial agents
- Medicinal plants
- Traditional medicine