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artemisinin

GC: n

S: WHO - http://www.who.int/malaria/media/artemisinin_resistance_qa/en/(external link) (last access: 29 July 2015); http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=24010(external link) (last access: 12 November 2013); DORLAND.

N: 1. First use: 1970s. Origin: blend of "artemisia" and "quinine".
2. artemisinin, also called qinghaosu, antimalarial drug derived from the sweet wormwood plant, Artemisia annua. Artemisinin is a sesquiterpene lactone (a compound made up of three isoprene units bound to cyclic organic esters) and is distilled from the dried leaves or flower clusters of A. annua. The antipyretic (fever-reducing) properties of the plant were first recognized in the 4th century ce by Chinese physicians, who called the plant qinghao and recommended a natural remedy in the form of qinghao tea. In the following centuries, this remedy was commonly prescribed for hemorrhoids and malaria. The active agent, called qinghaosu, was isolated from the plant in the 1970s; this compound became widely known as artemisinin. Today, there are several derivatives of artemisinin, including artesunate and artemether, that are used in the treatment of malaria.
Artemisinin is effective against all the malaria-causing protozoal organisms in the genus Plasmodium. The drug is particularly useful in the treatment of infections involving chloroquine-resistant parasites and infections involving multidrug-resistant P. falciparum, which is the deadliest of the malaria protozoans. Artemisinin targets Plasmodium organisms in the schizont stage of development.
3. An antimalarial agent extracted from the dry leaves of the Chinese herb Artemisia annua (qinghaosu or sweet wormwood).
4. Artemisinin and its derivatives are powerful medicines known for their ability to swiftly reduce the number of Plasmodium parasites in the blood of patients with malaria.
5. The role of the artemisinin compound is to reduce the main parasite load during the first three days of treatment, while the role of the partner drug is to eliminate the remaining parasites. In patients who are infected with artemisinin-resistant strains of malaria, the artemisinin compound does not clear all the parasites by the third day of treatment.
6. Cultural Interrelation: The 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with one half jointly to William C. Campbell and Satoshi Ōmura for their discoveries concerning a novel therapy against infections caused by roundworm parasites and the other half to Youyou Tu for her discoveries concerning a novel therapy against Malaria. Youyou Tu discovered Artemisinin, a drug that has significantly reduced the mortality rates for patients suffering from Malaria.

S: 1. OD - http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/artemisinin(external link) (last access: 11 June 2016). 2. EncBrit - http://global.britannica.com/science/artemisinin(external link) (last access: 12 November 2013). 3. TERMIUM PLUS (last access: 12 November 2013). 4 & 5. WHO - http://www.who.int/malaria/media/artemisinin_resistance_qa/en/index.html(external link) (last access: 12 November 2013). 6. https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/2015/press.html(external link) (last access: 11 June 2016).

SYN: qinghaosu

S: EncBrit - http://global.britannica.com/science/artemisinin(external link) (last access: 12 November 2013)

CR: malaria, parasite (EN).


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