Simple and Inexpensive Fluorescence-Based Technique for High-Throughput Antimalarial Drug Screening

Martin Smilkstein, Nongluk Sriwilaijaroen, Jane Xu Kelly, Prapon Wilairat, Michael Riscoe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

869 Scopus citations


Radioisotopic assays involve expense, multistep protocols, equipment, and radioactivity safety requirements which are problematic in high-throughput drug testing. This study reports an alternative, simple, robust, inexpensive, one-step fluorescence assay for use in antimalarial drug screening. Parasite growth is determined by using SYBR Green I, a dye with marked fluorescence enhancement upon contact with Plasmodium DNA. A side-by-side comparison of this fluorescence assay and a standard radioisotopic method was performed by testing known antimalarial agents against Plasmodiumfalciparum strain D6. Both assay methods were used to determine the effective concentration of drug that resulted in a 50% reduction in the observed counts (EC50) after 48 h of parasite growth in the presence of each drug. The EC50S of chloroquine, quinine, mefloquine, artemisinin, and 3,6-bis-ε -(N,N-diethylamino)-amyloxyxanthone were similar or identical by both techniques. The results obtained with this new fluorescence assay suggest that it may be an ideal method for high-throughput antimalarial drug screening.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1803-1806
Number of pages4
JournalAntimicrobial agents and chemotherapy
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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