Artesunate, a potential drug for treatment of Babesia infection
Terkawi, M. Alaa
Aboge, G. Oluga
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The effects of artesunate, a water-soluble artemisinin derivative, against Babesia species, including Babesia bovis, Babesia gibsoni and Babesia microti were studied. Cultures of B. bovis and B. gibsoni were treated with 0.26, 2.6, 26 and 260 μM artesunate, showing inhibition of parasite growth at concentrations equal to and greater than 2.6 μM artesunate by days 3 post-treatment for B. gibsoni and B. bovis in a dose-dependent manner. Consistent with in vitro experiments, artesunate was effective in the treatment of mice infected with B. microti at doses equal to and greater than 10 mg/kg of body weight on days 8–10 post-infection. Taken together, these results suggest that artesunate could be a potential drug against Babesia infection.