Screening Extracts from the Tropical Pioneer Plants Bocconia frutescens, Guettarda poasana, and Phytolacca rivinoides for Anti-Parasitic Activity
Dr. Aaron Best, Hope College
Dr. K. Gregory Murray, Hope College
Dr. Michael Short, Hope College
Dr. Dereje Desta, Hope College
Seeds of three species of Costa Rican pioneer plants were tested for anti-parasitic activity against Leishmania tarentolae. Initial screening of crude seed extracts revealed leishmanicidal activity in Bocconia frutescens with an IC50 value of 2.61 µg/mL. Further fractionation and compound identification revealed four benzophenanthridine compounds in the Bocconia seed extract, all of which showed leishmanicidal activity with IC50 values in the ranges of 10-20 µg/mL. Preliminary data show low mammalian toxicity of these compounds, suggesting potential for medicinal use.
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