Viral hepatitis in the Peruvian Amazon: Ethnomedical context and phytomedical resource

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Roumy V., Ruiz L., Ruiz Macedo J. C., Gutierrez-Choquevilca A., Samaillie J., Encinas L. A., ...More

Journal of Ethnopharmacology, vol.255, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 255
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jep.2020.112735
  • Journal Name: Journal of Ethnopharmacology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE, Index Islamicus, International Pharmaceutical Abstracts, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Lokman Hekim University Affiliated: No


© 2020 Elsevier B.V.Ethnopharmacological relevance: An extensive ethnopharmacological survey was carried out in the Peruvian Amazonian district of Loreto with informants of various cultural origins from the surroundings of Iquitos (capital city of Loreto) and from 15 isolated riverine Quechua communities of the Pastaza River. A close attention was paid to the medical context and plant therapy, leading to the selection of 35 plant species (45 extracts). The extracts were tested for antiviral activity against HCV with counting of Huh-7 cellular death in case of toxicity, and cytotoxicity was evaluated in HepG2 cells. Aim of the study: The aim of the study was to inventory the plants used against hepatitis in Loreto, then to evaluate their antiviral activity and to suggest a way to improve local therapeutic strategy against viral hepatitis, which is a fatal disease that is still increasing in this area. Materials and methods: An ethnographic survey was carried out using “participant-observation” methodology and focusing on plant therapy against hepatitis including associated remedies. 45 parts of plant were extracted with methanol and tested in vitro for anti-HCV activity in 96-well plate, using HCV cell culture system with immunofluorescent detection assisted by automated confocal microscopy. Toxicity of plant extracts was also evaluated in microplates on hepatic cells by immunofluorescent detection, for the Huh-7 nuclei viability, and by UV-absorbance measurement of MTT formazan for cytotoxicity in HepG2 cells. Results: In vitro assay revealed interesting activity of 18 extracts (50% infection inhibition at 25 μg/mL) with low cytotoxicity for 15 of them. Result analysis showed that at least 30% of HCV virus were inhibited at 25 μg/mL for 60% of the plant extracts. Moreover, the ethnomedical survey showed that remedies used with low and accurate dosing as targeted therapy against hepatitis are usually more active than species indicated with more flexible dosing to alleviate symptoms of hepatic diseases. Conclusion: Together with bibliographic data analysis, this study supported the traditional medicinal uses of many plants and contributed to a better understanding of the local medical system. It also permitted to refine the therapeutic plant indications regarding patients’ liver injuries and vulnerability. Only 2 of the 15 most active plant species have already been studied for antiviral activity against hepatitis suggesting new avenues to be followed for the 13 other species.