Taxol, a natural product used to treat a variety of human cancers, is shown here to be extremely effective against chloroquine- and pyrimethamine-resistant malaria parasites. Addition of Taxol (1.0 microM) for one cycle to cultures of human erythrocytes infected with Plasmodium falciparum prevents the establishment of new infections. Blood parasitemia is eliminated in mice infected with Plasmodium chabaudi adami when they are given a single intraperitoneal injection of Taxol at 150 mg/m2. The majority of the animals treated immediately preceding parasite schizogony remain free of infection after eight replication cycles. The impressive antimalarial activity of Taxol, at a dosage that has been tolerated in humans, establishes its potential utility for treatment of severe, drug-resistant human malaria.
B Pouvelle, P J Farley, C A Long, T F Taraschi