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artesunate A water-soluble, semi-synthetic derivative of the sesquiterpene lactone artemisinin with anti-malarial, anti-schistosomiasis, antiviral, and potential anti-neoplastic activities. Artesunate (AS) contains an endoperoxide bridge that is activated by heme iron, resulting in the generation of free radicals that alkylate parasite proteins and ultimately lead to cell death. Dihydroartemisinin (DHA, also known as artenimol), the active metabolite of artesunate, was found to specifically increase oxidative stress in P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes but not uninfected cells, by reduction of antioxidants.

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