Thais have utilized bioresources from plants and microorganisms for medicine for thousands of years. There is an urgent need for new drugs with chemical structures and modes of action radically different from existing drugs to combat malaria and TB. Accordingly, efforts have been directed towards searching bioresources for new drugs and anti-inflammatories. Although Thailand is considered species-rich, only a small number of its potential bioresources have been investigated.
Researchers from BIOTEC and King Mongkut's University of Technology Thonburi were invited to write a review for the journal “Pharmacology and Therapeutics”, titled “In Search of Cyclooxygenase Inhibitors, Anti-Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Anti-malarial Drugs from Thai Flora and Microbes” [Pharmacology and Therapeutics 2007, Vol 115, pp 307-351].
This article briefly describes the pathogenesis of two infectious diseases, namely malaria and TB, and modern medicines employed in chemotherapy directed against them. Diversities of Thai flora and fungi and their chemical constituents with properties antagonistic to these two diseases are described in detail. Similarly, anti-inflammatory compounds, mostly cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibitors are also described herein to demonstrate the potential of Thai bioresources to provide a wide array of compounds for the treatment of diseases of different natures.