The artemisin potential of leaves from cultivars and wildlings of Artemisia annua L. grown in Western Kenya
Odundo, J. O.
Nawiri, M. P.
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Half of the world's population and especially those in Africa are most vulnerable to malaria. In Western region of Kenya, malaria prevalence levels are above 40%. The disease is preventable and treatable with currently recommended interventions one being the use of Artemisinin-based combination therapy. A hybrid plant Artemisia annua anamed (‘A3’), a clone of artemisinin annua is being embraced in western Kenya. We report the levels of artemisinin in leaves of ‘A3’ grown in regions of Western Kenya and of soil nutrients Zinc (Zn), Boron (B), Nitrate (NO3 -) and Ammonium (NH4 +). High performance Liquid Chromatography, Atomic Absorption Spectrometry and Ion Selective Electrodes were employed. In comparison to the expected levels in soils for artemisinin accumulation; Zn was above the minimum tolerable levels; B was very low in the topsoil but high at in-depth; nitrogen NH4 + and NO3 - ions were found sufficient and the ratio of NO3 - : NH4 + was high. Artemisinin in leaves of cultivars ranged between 0.04-0.88% dry matter. The levels of artemisinin in ‘A3’ grown in Western region of Kenya can be improved if nutrient levels are well managed. These findings showcase the need to expand cultivation of A. annua in Western Kenya and consequently produce artemisinin that would be useful in addressing malaria