In vitro antitrypanosomal activity of Malaysian plants.
A total of 119 plant species collected from different localities in Malaysia were screened for in vitro antitrypanosomal activity. A hundred and forty methanol extracts prepared from different plant parts were tested on Trypanosoma brucei brucei strain BS221. Extracts were also tested for their cytotoxic activities on a mamalian cell line (Vero) to determine their selectivity towards the parasite. For the first time, antitrypanosomal activity was identified in the leaves of Dyera costulata and the whole plant of Cymbopogon nardus with IC50 values of 0.58±0.01 µg mL-1 (selectivity index, SI >169) and 0.31±0.03 µg mL-1 (SI>323) respectively. These plants could be attractive candidates for treatment of sleeping sickness.