Malaria is one of the most important tropical diseases since more than 40% of the world
population is at risk. This disease is endemic to more than 100 nations and remains one of the main
leading causes of death in children less than five years of age worldwide. Natural product-derived
compounds have played a major role in drug discovery, often as prototypes to obtain more active semi
synthetic derivatives. Antimalarial pharmacotherapy is a significant example of plant-derived
medicines, such as quinine and artemisinin. This review highlights studies on terpenes and their semi synthetic derivatives
from natural sources with antimalarial activity reported in the literature during eleven years (2002-2013). A total of 114
compounds are found among terpenes and their semi synthetic derivatives. Cytotoxicity of the compounds is also found in
this review. Furthermore, the physicochemical properties of the terpenes addressed are discussed based on seven well
established descriptors, which provide a useful source for the elaboration of a terpene library of antimalarial compounds.
Keywords: Antimalarial, cytotoxicity, drug likeness, malaria, semi synthesis, terpenes.
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