Project information
What orangutans can teach us: plants used for self-medication as a potential source of bioactive substances with amoebicidal and antigiardial effects

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Project Identification
Project Period
1/2023 - 12/2025
Investor / Pogramme / Project type
Czech Science Foundation
MU Faculty or unit
Faculty of Science
Cooperating Organization
Institute of Experimental Botany of the ASCR, v. v. i.
Biological Centre of the ASCR, v. v. i.

The main aim of this project is the isolation, identification and examination of bioactive plant compounds with potential antiparasitic activity. These extracts will be obtained from plants that are routinely eaten by orangutans. Our previous research suggests that the purpose of this consumption is self-medication. The main criteria for the plant selection are the behavioral data of the orangutans and the parasite infections thereof. The effect of these extracts on the progression of significant waterborne protozoal diseases (WBD), namely amoebiasis and giardiasis, will be tested using both in vitro and in vivo methods. The parasites spreading such diseases are a major cause of the increase in morbidity and mortality rates worldwide as these diseases are often fatal for immunocompromised people such as those with HIV. Therefore, they pose a significant world health problem with a considerable impact on the global economy. To control these diseases, the development of new and sustainable medicaments is required, to which the research of bioactive plant compounds greatly contributes.


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