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