Plasmodium falciparum: Activity of artemisinin against Plasmodium falciparum cultured in sickle trait hemoglobin AS and normal hemoglobin AA red blood cells

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The presence of sickle hemoglobin causes accumulation of hemoglobin degradative products that favor oxidative reaction in erythrocytes. Artemisinin derivatives exert antiparasite effects through oxidative reactions within infected erythrocytes. Using [3H]-hypoxanthine incorporation, we therefore did an in vitro comparison of IC50 values for artemisinin in Plasmodium falciparum-infected erythrocytes from sickle cell trait (AS) and normal (AA) individuals. IC50 values for chloroquine served as control. Without drugs, parasite growth was similar in AA and AS erythrocytes. Gender, age and blood group of donors had no significant effects on parasite growth. IC50 value for artemisinin was 27 ± 14 nM in AS (N = 22) compared to 24 ± 9 nM (N = 27) in AA erythrocytes (P = 0.4). IC50 values for chloroquine were also similar in AA (22 ± 8 nM) and AS (20 ± 11 nM) erythrocytes. These results show no evidence of elevated artemisinin activity on P. falciparum in AS erythrocytes in vitro. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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