[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Whether natural product drug discovery programs should rely on wild plants collected "randomly" from the natural environment, or whether they should also include plants collected on the basis of use in traditional medicine remains an open question.
This study analyzes whether plants with ethnomedical uses from Vietnam and Laos have a higher hit rate in bioassay testing than plants collected from a national park in Vietnam with the goal of maximizing taxonomic diversity ("random" collection).
All plants were extracted and subjected to bioassay in the same laboratories. Results of assays of plant collections and plant parts (samples) were scored as active or inactive based on whether any extracts had a positive result in a bioassay. Contingency tables were analyzed using χ(2) statistics.
Random collections had a higher hit rate than ethnomedical collections, but for samples, ethnomedical plants were more likely to be active. Ethnomedical collections and samples had higher hit rates for tuberculosis, while samples, but not collections, had a higher hit rate for malaria. Little evidence was found to support an advantage for ethnomedical plants in HIV, chemoprevention and cancer bioassays. Plants whose ethnomedical uses directly correlated to a bioassay did not have a significantly higher hit rate than random plants.
Plants with ethnomedical uses generally had a higher rate of activity in some drug discovery bioassays, but the assays did not directly confirm specific uses.
Ethnomedical uses may contribute to a higher rate of activity in drug discovery screening.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ethnobotany/ethnopharmacology has contributed to the discovery of many important plant-derived drugs. Field explorations to seek and document indigenous/traditional medical knowledge (IMK/TMK), and/or the biodiversity with which the IMK/TMK is attached, and its conversion into a commercialized product is known as bioprospecting or biodiversity prospecting. When performed in a large-scale operation, the effort is referred to as mass bioprospecting. Experiences from the mass bioprospecting efforts undertaken by the United States National Cancer Institute, the National Cooperative Drug Discovery Groups (NCDDG) and the International Cooperative Biodiversity Groups (ICBG) programs demonstrate that mass bioprospecting is a complex process, involving expertise from diverse areas of human endeavors, but central to it is the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that recognizes issues on genetic access, prior informed consent, intellectual property and the sharing of benefits that may arise as a result of the effort. Future mass bioprospecting endeavors must take heed of the lessons learned from past and present experiences in the planning for a successful mass bioprospecting venture.
Journal of Ethnopharmacology 09/2005; 100(1-2):15-22. · 2.76 Impact Factor