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Chapter 8 : Sweet Wormwood of Success: Qinghaosu

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Abstract:

In 1596, Li Shihzen, the great Chinese herbalist, wrote in his that the chills and fever of malaria can be combated with preparations of qinghaosu (literally the active principle of qinghao or ). In 1975, X. T. Liang found that qinghaosu, with the empirical formula CHO, contained a stable peroxide in a complicated compound, a sesquiterpene lactone bearing an endoperoxide at one side of the molecule in almost a semispiral form. In China, oil suspensions suitable for injection or in tablet form or suppositories were produced and the Qinghaosu Antimalarial Coordinating Research group proceeded to treat and document the therapeutic response in 1,511 patients with and malaria. In 1992 oral AM-lumefantrine became the first registered, fixed artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) treatment. Current work focuses on characterizing the genes controlling the enzymatic steps in the biosynthesis of artemisinin and then introducing these genes into and allowing it to produce precursors of artemisinin. Although the goal of the semisynthetic approach to artemisinin was to produce a product cheaper than that obtained from plants, it appears that this will not happen. Rather, the semisynthetic product will be used to avoid the boom- and- bust cycle of the crop-based drug.

Citation: Sherman I. 2011. Sweet Wormwood of Success: Qinghaosu, p 168-181. In Magic Bullets to Conquer Malaria. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816889.ch8

Key Concept Ranking

Parasitic Diseases
0.7356587
Saccharomyces cerevisiae
0.5344828
Plasmodium falciparum
0.5077314
Plasmodium vivax
0.49967214
0.7356587
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Figures

Image of Figure 1
Figure 1

Structures of qinghaosu and dihydroartemisinin (DHA).

Citation: Sherman I. 2011. Sweet Wormwood of Success: Qinghaosu, p 168-181. In Magic Bullets to Conquer Malaria. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816889.ch8
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Image of Figure 2
Figure 2

Structures of artemether and arteether (artemotil).

Citation: Sherman I. 2011. Sweet Wormwood of Success: Qinghaosu, p 168-181. In Magic Bullets to Conquer Malaria. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816889.ch8
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Image of Figure 3
Figure 3

Structures of artemisinin, artesunate, and artemisinic acid.

Citation: Sherman I. 2011. Sweet Wormwood of Success: Qinghaosu, p 168-181. In Magic Bullets to Conquer Malaria. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816889.ch8
Permissions and Reprints Request Permissions
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References

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