Emeline Houël

Tél. : (+594) 5 94 29 26 13

Fax : (+594) 5 94 28 47 86

email : Emeline.Houel at EcoFoG.gf

Position

Research Engineer at UMR EcoFoG.

Bioactive natural substances from the Amazonian flora

Natural products, either as pure compound or as standardized plant extracts, provide unlimited opportunities for new drug leads. This work will be divided in two parts: an activity-guided isolation of antiplasmodial molecules performed on two plants, Quassia amara L. and Psidium acutangulum DC., and the identification of new essential oils presenting antifungal activities against human dermatophytes and yeasts. These studies will be centered on the Guianese flora. French Guiana records high malaria incidence rates. The traditional antimalarial remedy most widespread and still very much in use there is a tea made out from Quassia amara mature leaves. The antimalarial activity of this preparation was previously assessed and in order to optimize the in vitro activity, different types of preparation have been realized and tested. The most active in vitro preparation is an infusion of fresh young leaves. Our next objective was to assess whether it could be contemplated to recommend this young leaves tea for treatment against malaria, since it seemed from literature precedent that SkD was also cytotoxic to a number of cellular lineages. A second phytotherapeutic remedy, localized to the Wayana community (Haut-Maroni) will also be submitted to bioguided fractionation to evaluate its antiplasmodial activity. Moreover, the incidence of fungal infections has been increasing in recent years due to a growing number of high-risk patients. This fact, coupled with the resistance to antibiotics and the toxicity during prolonged treatment with many antifungal drugs, has prompted an extensive search for newer drugs to treat mycosis. This search for biologically active substances has encouraged, among other things, the use of essential oils.The aim of this present study is to identify new essential oils presenting antifungal activities against human dermatophytes and yeasts and to determine their chemical composition.

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