Phlebotomine sand flies were collected using CO2 baited CDC light trap in 2000 and 2001 in limestone areas and caves of western Malaysia. A total of 1,548 specimens were collected comprising 18 species from two genera: Phlebotomus (6 spp) and Sergentomyia (12 spp). Phlebotomus major major (38.9%) was the predominant species followed by Sergentomyia perturbans (20.1%), P. stantoni (15.3%) and others. Biting activity of the sand flies at the Gua Senyum caves, Gua Kota Gelanggi, Batu caves and Gua Kelam were observed using the bare leg landing catch (BLC) technique. Four Phlebotomus spp at Gua Senyum were found to bite humans with a unimodal biting peak (between 01:00 and 04:00 AM). At Gua Kota Gelanggi P. major major was observed to bite humans, but at Batu Caves and Gua Kelam no sand flies were observed to bite humans. Sergentomyia spp did not feed on humans even though high numbers were caught in light traps. The populations of phleobotomine sand flies fluctuated, with several peaks especially among P. major major which peaked in December and was low in February and August. Phlebotomus stantoni was abundant throughout 2001. Most species populations were weakly related to rainfall because they inhabited caves.
In continuation of our natural and medicinal research programme on tropical rainforest plants, a bioassay guided fractionation of ethanolic extract of leaves of Canarium patentinervium Miq. (Burseraceae Kunth.) led to the isolation of scopoletin (1), scoparone (2), (+)-catechin (3), vomifoliol (4), lioxin (5), and syringic acid (6). All the compounds exhibited antiacetylcholinesterase activity with syringic acid, a phenolic acid exhibiting good AChE inhibition (IC50 29.53 ± 0.19 μ g/mL). All compounds displayed moderate antileishmanial activity with scopoletin having the highest antileishmanial activity (IC50 163.30 ± 0.32 μ g/mL). Given the aforementioned evidence, it is tempting to speculate that Canarium patentinervium Miq. represents an exciting scaffold from which to develop leads for treatment of neurodegenerative and parasitic diseases.
Phytochemical investigation of Beilschmiedia alloiophylla has resulted in the isolation of one new alkaloid, 2-hydroxy-9-methoxyaporphine (1), and ten known natural products, laurotetanine (2), liriodenine (3), boldine (4), secoboldine (5), isoboldine (6), asimilobine (7), oreobeiline (8), 6-epioreobeiline (9), β-amyrone (10), and (S)-3-methoxynordomesticine (11). Chemical studies on the bark of B. kunstleri afforded compounds 2 and 4 along with one bisbenzylisoquinoline alkaloid, N-dimethylphyllocryptine (12). Structures of compounds 1-12 were elucidated on the basis of spectroscopic methods. All of these isolates were evaluated for their anti-acetylcholinesterase (AChE), anti-α-glucosidase, anti-leishmanial and anti-fungal activities. Compounds 1-12 exhibited strong to moderate bioactivities in aforementioned bioassays.