The Antiprotozoal Activity of Papua New Guinea Propolis and Its Triterpenes

Samya Alenezi, Naif D. Alenezi, Godwin Ebiloma, Manal J. Natto, Marzuq A. Ungogo, John O. Igoli, Valerie A. Ferro, Alexander I. Gray, James Fearnley, Harry P. De Koning, David G. Watson

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Profiling a propolis sample from Papua New Guinea (PNG) using high-resolution mass spectrometry indicated that it contained several triterpenoids. Further fractionation by column chromatography and medium-pressure liquid chromatography (MPLC) followed by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) identified 12 triterpenoids. Five of these were obtained pure and the others as mixtures of two or three compounds. The compounds identified were: mangiferonic acid, ambonic acid, isomangiferolic acid, ambolic acid, 27-hydroxyisomangiferolic acid, cycloartenol, cycloeucalenol, 24-methylenecycloartenol, 20-hydroxybetulin, betulin, betulinic acid and madecassic acid. The fractions from the propolis and the purified compounds were tested in vitro against Crithidia fasciculata, Trypanosoma congolense, drug-resistant Trypanosoma congolense, Trypanosoma b. brucei and multidrug-resistant Trypanosoma b. brucei (B48). They were also assayed for their toxicity against U947 cells. The compounds and fractions displayed moderate to high activity against parasitic protozoa but only low cytotoxicity against the mammalian cells. The most active isolated compound, 20-hydroxybetulin, was found to be trypanostatic when different concentrations were tested against T. b. brucei growth.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1622
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022


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