Biological and Phytochemical Investigations on Caesalpinia benthamiana, a Plant Traditionally Used as Antimalarial in Guinea

Jean Loua,1 Mohamed Sahar Traore,1,2 Aissata Camara,1,2 Mamadou Aliou Balde,1,2
Louis Maes,3 Luc Pieters,4 and Aliou Mamadou Balde1,2
1 Research and Valorization Center on Medicinal Plants, Dubreka, Guinea
2 Department of Pharmacy, University Gamal Abdel Nasser of Conakry, Conakry, Guinea
3 Laboratory of Microbiology, Parasitology and Hygiene (LMPH), Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences,
University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Antwerp, Belgium
4 Natural Products & Food Research and Analysis (NatuRA), Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Antwerp,
Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Antwerp, Belgium
Correspondence should be addressed to Aliou Mamadou Balde;
Received 21 February 2017; Revised 7 June 2017; Accepted 25 July 2017; Published 10 September 2017
Academic Editor: Pierre Champy
Copyright © 2017 Jean Loua et al.This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which
permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Caesalpinia benthamiana is widely used as antimalarial in Guinean traditional medicine. Leaf extracts of the plant were tested for
their in vitro antiprotozoal activity against Trypanosoma brucei brucei and T. cruzi and the chloroquine-sensitive Ghana strain of
Plasmodium falciparum along with their cytotoxicity on MRC-5 cells. The methanolic extract showed the strongest antiprotozoal
activity against P. falciparum (IC50 4 𝜇g/ml), a good activity against T. brucei (IC50 13 𝜇g/ml), and a moderate activity against T. cruzi
(IC50 31 𝜇g/ml) along with an IC50 on human MRC-5 cells of 32 𝜇g/ml. Bioassay-guided fractionation from the methanolic extract
led to antiplasmodially active subfractions. A prospective, placebo-controlled ethnotherapeutic trial assessed the antimalarial
effectiveness and tolerability of C. benthamiana syrup administered orally to children with uncomplicated malaria as compared
with chloroquine syrup. Phytochemical screening of the leaf extracts indicated the presence of flavonoids, terpenoids, tannins,
saponins, and iridoids.