Leishmaniasis is one of the neglected tropical disease caused by a protozoan of the genus Leishmania transmitted by sandflies. High cost and lack of oral formulation of existing drugs, rapid developments of resistance by the parasite coupled with serious side effects require new treatments to augment or replace currently available therapies. The major merits of herbal medicine seem to demonstrate perceived efficacy, low incidence of serious adverse effects and low cost. Erythrophleum plants possess beneficial biological properties and, as such, characterization of the bioactive components of these plants is imperative. Previous work has shown an overwhelming presence of cassaine alkaloids in these plants. However, amongst these plants, the African based specie (Erythrophleum ivorense) is the least studied. In the current study, the in vitro anti-leishmanial activity of the crude extract, its fractions and isolated compounds were evaluated using direct counting assay of promastigotes of Leishmania donovani using amphotericin B as positive control. The anti-leishmanial activity of E. ivorense extract was evaluated in vitro against the promastigote forms of Leishmania Donovani using a direct counting assay based on growth inhibition. Different crude extracts from ethyl acetate, pet-ether, and methanol as well as pure isolated compounds of E. ivorense: Erythroivorensin, Eriodictyol and Betulinic acid were screened. To know the possible components of the active methanolic extract, attempt was made to elucidate the extract using ultra-performance liquid chromatography quadrupole time of flight mass spectrometry (UHPLC-QTOF-MS/MS). This afforded a weak pet-ether fraction, a moderately active ethyl acetate fraction and a significantly active methanol fraction (IC The fragmentation mechanism of these metabolites is also proposed and are expected to serve as reference template for identification of these and related compounds in future. The presence of these compounds is an indication that they are an inherited and evolutionary component of plants belonging to the Erythrophleum genus. Our results further present another dimension where these compounds and their relative abundances can be used as chemo-taxonomical bio-markers of the genus. The present study also successfully demonstrated/re-affirmed the use of UPLC-QTOF-MS/MS as a robust technique for the characterization of natural products.
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