The combination of indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) with techniques of modern drug discovery platforms has a great potential to overcome the current innovation deficits in drug discovery. We describe the adaptation of a set of field-suitable bioassays, the Screens-to-Nature (STN) system, to a participatory research tool suitable for overcoming some of the difficulties in establishing cooperation between indigenous knowledge holders and scientists. Extracts from 621 plant samples representing 214 species from 71 plant families in Botswana have been qualitatively screened for antibacterial, antifungal, and antiprotozoal activities, as well as for α-glucosidase and protease inhibitory properties. The results provide a first bioactivity profile of medicinal plants in Botswana. Close to half of the samples (47%) were provided by traditional healers and community members from two regions in Botswana, the Kweneng and Ngamiland Districts. Screening results were consistently shared and discussed with indigenous knowledge holders who participated in the STN project. A survey conducted among 28 traditional healers revealed that a large majority (93%) perceived the STN approach as beneficial to indigenous knowledge holders and expressed their desire to continue contributing to natural product research. In that way, the STN approach provided a basis for the establishment of an indigenous knowledge-guided drug discovery platform in Botswana.
|Title of host publication||Drug Discovery in Africa|
|Subtitle of host publication||Impacts of Genomics, Natural Products, Traditional Medicines, Insights into Medicinal Chemistry, and Technology Platforms in Pursuit of New Drugs|
|Publisher||Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg|
|Number of pages||26|
|ISBN (Print)||3642281745, 9783642281747|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 1 2012|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes