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An unexpected, revolutionary property of Artemisia infusions: immunoglobulins in the skin lead to a long-lasting prophylaxis


Pharmacy & Pharmacology International Journal
Jérôme Munyangi,1 Pascal Gisenya,2 Patrick Ogwang,3 Pierre Lutgen4

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Abstract

Naturally acquired immunity to malaria is a known phenomenon. But little is known about the underlying mechanisms. The majority of adults in sub-Saharan Africa rarely experience overt disease, despite they have a population of parasites in their blood that could prove lethal to a malaria-naïve visitor. The use of Artemisia herbal medicine is spreading in many African countries, in schools, health centers. It was shown 10 years ago in Uganda that regular drinking of infusions from Artemisia plants had a strong prophylactic effect. We were of the belief that this prophylaxis was going to last for a few days, maybe a few weeks. Over the last 2 months we received several surprising inputs indicating that this prophylaxis was lasting for months, even years. But more recently several partners also report that when Artemisia infusions or capsules have been used during 7 days to cure a malaria infection, the people having used this short-term treatment also experience a long-lasting prophylaxis. The most interesting research lead is that specific IgEs induced by Artemisia consumption remain for months in the skin. In this review paper we present several hypotheses to explain this revolutionary property of Artemisia plants, and more particularly Artemisia afra used since generations in many African countries against tropical diseases.

Keywords

artemisia, plasmodium, immunoglobulins, gametocytes, prophylaxis

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