Screening of African Natural Product Extracts for Antischistosomal Activity

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Schistosomiasis affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide, mostly in the world’s poorest countries. Praziquantel (PZQ) is the only medication currently used in mass drug administration programs, raising the risk of drug resistance. There is a critical need to develop new therapeutics that target essential pathways that are not affected by PZQ. Prof. Fabrice Boyom at the University of Yaoundé I is interested in leveraging the therapeutic properties of local plants and other natural products to treat parasitic diseases. With support from Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, Dr. Jennifer Keiser at the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute will screen selected natural product extracts collected by Prof. Boyom for antischistosomal activity.