Antimalarial activity of plant metabolites

Wen Hui Pan, Xin Ya Xu, Ni Shi, Siu Wai Tsang, Hongjie Zhang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)


Malaria, as a major global health problem, continues to affect a large number of people each year, especially those in developing countries. Effective drug discovery is still one of the main efforts to control malaria. As natural products are still considered as a key source for discovery and development of therapeutic agents, we have evaluated more than 2000 plant extracts against Plasmodium falciparum. As a result, we discovered dozens of plant leads that displayed antimalarial activity. Our phytochemical study of some of these plant extracts led to the identification of several potent antimalarial compounds. The prior comprehensive review article entitled “Antimalarial activity of plant metabolites” by Schwikkard and Van Heerden (2002) reported structures of plant-derived compounds with antiplasmodial activity and covered literature up to the year 2000. As a continuation of this effort, the present review covers the antimalarial compounds isolated from plants, including marine plants, reported in the literature from 2001 to the end of 2017. During the span of the last 17 years, 175 antiplasmodial compounds were discovered from plants. These active compounds are organized in our review article according to their plant families. In addition, we also include ethnobotanical information of the antimalarial plants discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1382
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2018

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry

User-Defined Keywords

  • Anti-malaria activity
  • Ethnopharmacology
  • Natural products
  • Plants
  • Plasmodium parasites


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