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Anti-Infectious Activity in the Cistaceae Family in the Iberian Peninsula

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Infectious diseases caused by bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites are still a major threat to public health, despite the tremendous progress in human medicine. New antimicrobials are needed in medicine due to the rapid emergence of new resistant and opportunistic microbes and the increasing number of patients suffering from immunosuppressive situations, e.g., acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, transplantation, cancer, etc… Research on new antimicrobial substances must therefore be continued and all possible strategies should be explored. Plants have been a source of therapeutic agents from more than 5000 years. Approximately 25% of modern medications are developed from plants. In the area of infectious diseases, 75% of new drugs originated from natural sources between 1981 and 2002. As less than 10% of the world's biodiversity has been tested for biological activity, many more useful natural lead compounds are awaiting discovery. The Cistaceae family comprises a large number of species, growing in the warm temperate regions of the Mediterranean area, that have been and are still used as medicinal plants, particularly in folk medicine. In the present review, we analyse the past, present and future of medicinal plants of the Cistaceae family present in the Iberian Peninsula, both as potential antimicrobial crude drugs as well as a source of natural compounds that act as new anti-infectious agents.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2009

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  • The aim of Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry is to publish short reviews on the important recent developments in medicinal chemistry and allied disciplines.

    The scope of Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry will cover all areas of medicinal chemistry including developments in rational drug design, synthetic chemistry, bioorganic chemistry, high-throughput screening, combinatorial chemistry, drug targets, and natural product research and structure-activity relationship studies.

    Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal and pharmaceutical chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.
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