Malaria is a major public health problem mainly due to the development of resistance by the most lethal causative parasitic species, Plasmodium falciparum to the mainstay drugs like chloroquine. New drugs with unique structures and mechanism of action are urgently required to treat sensitive and drug-resistant strains of malaria. Historically, compounds containing novel structure from natural origin represent a major source for the discovery and development of new drugs for several diseases. This review presents recent advances in antimalarial drug discovery from natural sources, including plant extracts, and compounds isolated from plants, bacteria, fungi and marine organisms. These compounds offer new and novel scaffolds for development as antimalarials. The literature from 1998 to October 2008 is reviewed. The review present literature compilation from plant and marine extracts, alkaloids (naphthylisoquinolines, bisbenzylisoquinolines, protoberberines and aporphines, indoles, manzamines, and miscellaneous alkaloids) terpenes (sesquiterpenes, triterpenes, diterpenes, and miscellaneous terpenes) quassinoids, flavonoids, limonoids, chalcones, peptides, xanthones, quinones and coumarines, and miscellaneous antimalarials from nature. The review also provides an outlook to recent semisynthetic approaches to antimalarial drugs discovered from natural sources. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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