Perspectives of the Artemisia annua Dry Leaf Therapy (ALT) for Malaria and of its Re-Purposement as An Affordable Cure for ArtemisininTreatable Illnesses
Malarial diseases continue to risk the lives of more than 3 billion people in 97 countries, causing sickness in several million people and death to half a million patients. The preponderate malaria causing apicomplexan protozoan parasite species Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax have become genetically resistant to most of the approved antimalarial drugs, including the artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs). At this time, there is vigorous effort to meet the challenge of multi-drug resistant malaria by (a) speeding up the trials in progress on relatively more effective, new and mechanistically different antimalarial pharmaceuticals, (b) production of effective vaccines against falciparum and vivax malaria, (c) devising of new ways to use the presently available antimalarials such as by using three-drugs ACTs and by using the different two-drug and three-drug ACTs sequentially, and (d) induction of Artemisia annua dry leaf therapy (ALT) of recent origin, but of ancient precedent, as a treatment of acute and complicated malaria. Here, a perspective type review is presented of the: pre-ALT antimalarial drugs, methodology of their usage and consequences of resistance development; safety, efficacy, affordability, quality maintenance and resilience to resistance development aspects of ALT; and possibilities of ALT repurposement for treating many infectious- metabolic disorder related- and cancerous- diseases. In conclusion an urgent need is emphasized for pilot studies and clinical trials on ALT to attest its deployment as antimalarial and cure of diseases beyond malaria.
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