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Open AccessArticle

Novel Pharmacological Activity of Artesunate and Artemisinin: Their Potential as Anti-Tubercular Agents

1
Department of Biomedical Science, Kyung Hee University School of Medicine, 26 Kyunghee-daero, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 02447, Korea
2
Department of Medical Zoology, Kyung Hee University School of Medicine, 26 Kyunghee-daero, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 02447, Korea
Academic Editors: Jane Grant-Kels and Mehdi Mirsaeidi
J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6(3), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm6030030
Received: 14 September 2016 / Revised: 19 February 2017 / Accepted: 2 March 2017 / Published: 10 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tuberculosis Treatment and Management)
Tuberculosis is a major infectious disease that globally causes the highest human mortality. From this aspect, this study was carried out to evaluate novel pharmacological activities/effects of artesunate and artemisinin causing anti-tubercular activity/effects against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). The anti-Mtb activities/effects of artesunate and artemisinin were evaluated using different anti-Mtb indicator assays, such as the resazurin microtiter assay, the Mycobacteria Growth Indicator Tube (MGIT) 960 system assay, and the Ogawa slant medium assay, as well as in vivo tests. Artesunate showed selective anti-Mtb effects by strongly inhibiting the growth of Mtb compared to artemisinin, and consistently induced anti-Mtb activity/effects by effectively inhibiting Mtb in the MGIT 960 system and in Ogawa slant medium for 21 days with a single dose; its minimum inhibitory concentration was 300 µg/mL in in vitro testing. Furthermore, artesunate demonstrated an anti-tubercular effect/action with a daily dose of 3.5 mg/kg in an in vivo test for four weeks, which did not indicate or induce toxicity and side effects. These results demonstrate that artesunate effectively inhibits the growth and/or proliferation of Mtb through novel pharmacological activities/actions, as well as induces anti-Mtb activity. This study shows its potential as a potent candidate agent for developing new anti-tuberculosis drugs of an effective/safe next generation, and suggests novel insights into its effective use by repurposing existing drugs through new pharmacological activity/effects as one of the substantive alternatives for inhibiting tuberculosis. View Full-Text
Keywords: artesunate; isoniazid; MGIT 960 system; Ogawa slant medium; susceptibility-test artesunate; isoniazid; MGIT 960 system; Ogawa slant medium; susceptibility-test
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Choi, W.H. Novel Pharmacological Activity of Artesunate and Artemisinin: Their Potential as Anti-Tubercular Agents. J. Clin. Med. 2017, 6, 30.

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