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Mar. Drugs 2009, 7(2), 130-152; doi:10.3390/md7020130

Marine Antimalarials

Dipartimento di Chimica delle Sostanze Naturali, Università di Napoli “Federico II”, Via D. Montesano, 49, I-80131, Napoli, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 April 2009 / Revised: 20 April 2009 / Accepted: 22 April 2009 / Published: 23 April 2009
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Marine Anti-infective Agents)


Malaria is an infectious disease causing at least 1 million deaths per year, and, unfortunately, the chemical entities available to treat malaria are still too limited. In this review we highlight the contribution of marine chemistry in the field of antimalarial research by reporting the most important results obtained until the beginning of 2009, with particular emphasis on recent discoveries. About 60 secondary metabolites produced by marine organisms have been grouped into three structural types and discussed in terms of their reported antimalarial activities. The major groups of metabolites include isonitrile derivatives, alkaloids and endoperoxide derivatives. The following discussion evidences that antimalarial marine molecules can efficiently integrate the panel of lead compounds isolated from terrestrial sources with new chemical backbones and, sometimes, with unique functional groups.
Keywords: Malaria; Marine metabolites; Isonitrile; Alkaloids; Endoperoxides Malaria; Marine metabolites; Isonitrile; Alkaloids; Endoperoxides

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Fattorusso, E.; Taglialatela-Scafati, O. Marine Antimalarials. Mar. Drugs 2009, 7, 130-152.

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