Wednesday, April 2, 2008

History of Quinine

History of Quinine
Quinine was the first effective treatment for malaria caused by Plasmodium. falciparum, appearing in therapeutics in the 17th century. It remained the antimalarial drug of choice until the 1940s. The tree is found in the rainforests along the northern end of the Andes Mountains.

Augustinian monk in Peru in 1633 wrote about powder of cinchona which can give a cure the fevers. In 1638 the Jesuits used quina bark to cure wife of the Viceroy of Peru.

It was brought back to England in 1640. English Protestants called it powder of the devil. Englishman name Robert Talbor mid 1600s, then realized that those cinchona bark have a reaction to the malaria fever. He then started using cinchona bark to cure malaria. He treated royalty and then awarded knighthood and appointed as Royal Physician in 1679.

In 1820, Pierre-Joseph Pelletier and Joseph Bienaimé Caventou isolated an alkaloid from cinchona (or quina) bark and named it quinine. The purified compound began to be used instead of powdered bark to treat malaria.

By the late 1800s, the malaria parasite had been identified and Ronald Ross had discovered the role of the mosquito vector. Ross launched “mosquito brigades” to eradicate the vector in England, while another public health advocate, S. P. James, advocated improving housing to separate humans from mosquitoes.

In 1820, two French scientists named J.B. Caventou and P.J. Pelletier isolated the chemical that seemed to cure malaria from the bark.
History of Quinine
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