Artemisinin is a sesquiterpene lactone compound with anti-malarial activity against cerebral malaria causing and drug-resistant strains of Plasmodium falciparum. Artemisinin and some of its derivatives have anti-tumor properties and are effective against other clinically significant parasites. Artemisinin was isolated from Artemisia annua L in 1972 by Youyou Tu at the Chinese Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine. In addition to anti-malarial properties, Artemisinin also has antiviral properties, reportedly reducing the proliferation of Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV.
Artemisinin-Piperaquine (AP) is a new-generation artemisinin antimalarial compound that has potential utility for COVID-19.
|Mechanism of Action||The mechanism of action of Artemisinin has not been proven and is not fully understood. A recent study identified 124 Artemisinin binding sites in Plasmodium falciparum suggesting multiple mechanisms of action.|
|Microbiology Applications||Artemisinin-Piperaquine (AP) was used in a small clinical trial in China in patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19, and results showed that the time to reach undetectable SARS-CoV-2 was significantly shorter in the AP group than in the control group. The study found that AP shortened the time the virus remained in the body. The mechanisms of how AP is improving the health of patients with COVID-19 is still being investigated.|
Li G et al (2021) Safety and efficacy of artemisinin-piperaquine for treatment of COVID-19: An open-label, non-randomised and controlled trial. Int. J. Antimicrob. Agents57(1):106216
Klayman D and Qinghaosu (!985): Artemisinin: An Antimalarial Drug from China. Science 228(4703):1049-1055
Walters M (2015) Faculty of 1000 Evaluation for haem-activated promiscuous targeting of Artemisinin in Plasmodium falciparum. F1000 - Post-publication Peer Review of the Biomed. Lit. 6.