Medicinal Plants and Natural Products in Parasitology


No final desta unidade curricular os alunos devem ser capazes de:
At the end of this module, students should be able to contribute to research or planning and implementing interventions directed to the use of plants and natural products in bioassays. Specifically, it should be capable of:
1. Assess the importance of ethnobotany medicinal plants.
2. Apply different methods of treating biological material so as to isolate, identify and characterize biological extracts of natural products.
3. To design and implement bioassays to validate the natural products of interest in Medical Parasitology.
4. Outline a strategy for selection of therapeutic targets with the use of bioinformatics tools.
5. Communicate scientific results.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Fernando Cardoso


Weekly - Se a UC for oferecida como opcional, o horário será disponibilizado no 2º semestre

Total - 34

Teaching language



Not applicable


• Novais MH, Santos I, Mendes S, Pinto-Gomes C. (2004) Studies on pharmaceutical ethnobotany in Arrabida Natural Park (Portugal).J Ethnopharmacol. Aug;93(23): 18395.
• Sarker SD, Nahar L. (2012) An introduction to natural products isolation. Methods Mol Biol.;864:125.
• Quinn RJ, Carroll AR, Pham NB, Baron P, Palframan ME, Suraweera L, Pierens GK, Muresan S. 2008 Developing a druglike natural product library. J Nat Prod. Mar;71(3):4648. Epub 2008 Feb 8.
• Zimmermann S, Thomi S, Kaiser M, Hamburger M, Adams M. . 2012 Screening and HPLC-Based Activity Profiling for New Antiprotozoal Leads from European Plants. Sci Pharm;80(1):20513. Epub 2011 Dec 23.
• Mokoka TA, Zimmermann S, Julianti T, Hata Y, Moodley N, Cal M, Adams M, Kaiser M, Brun R, Koorbanally N, Hamburger M. (2011) In vitro screening of traditional South African malaria remedies against Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense, Trypanosoma cruzi, Leishmania donovani, and Plasmodium falciparum. Planta Med. Sep;77(14):16637. Epub 2011 Mar 16.

Teaching method

The teaching of this Course will be based on the lecture method is organized into 9 hours of lectures, the demonstrative and active methods applied in four theoretical-practical 12 hours practical classes and seminars (3h) a total of 24 hours classroom. There will also be sessions of tutorials (10 hours) to support the self-study and preparation of the seminar, the practical report and oral presentation. Documents classes and formative assessment exercises are available in Moodle.

Evaluation method

The student assessment will be done based on the following elements:
1. Report of the practical classes, group, with about 2000 +/200 words (excluding graphs and bibliography) 60% of the final grade.
2. Group seminar with presentation of a scientific paper 30% of the final grade.
3. Performance of students in practical classes, assessed by different methods including practical exercises and answers to questionnaires10% of the final grade.
Compliance with a minimum attendance of 75% of the classes.

Subject matter

I. Medical Plants And Natural Products.
Traditional medicine, ethnobotany and Phytotherapy with application in Medical Parasitology.
Flora Medicinal and secondary metabolism of natural products.
II. Chemistry Of Natural Products.
Isolation, purification and identification of natural products.
Libraries extracts, natural products and other chemicals.
Research therapeutic targets in Medical Parasitology.
III. Biological Activity.
Bioassays of Natural Products.
Studies on the use of herbal and natural products in Parasitology:
1) Presentation of studies in Medical Helminthology.
2) Presentation of studies Medical Protozoology.
3) Presentation of studies in Medical Entomology.
IV. Demonstrative practical classes:
Extraction and chromatography TLC, Cytotoxic activity of plant extracts. Inhibition of C. elegans, Inhibitory and antioxidant activity of plant extracts. Bioinformatics in the selection of therapeutic targets.


Programs where the course is taught: