Call edition 2012
A new edition of the Prize of the Belgian Development Cooperation has been launched. This call is open until March 31st, 2011. You can read in the regulations whether you comply with the criteria for participation.
Direct relevance to development is without a doubt one of the strengths of this dissertation. The author started this research on the basis of a double observation: firstly, the frequent infection of cattle with Dermatophilus congolensis, and secondly, the traditional use of the extract from the native plant Mitracarpus scaber to deal with this infection. Dermatophilus congolensis causes a skin condition which is not easily treated with antibiotics, and which shows a fairly chronic course. Years of clinical experience gained with the Mitracarpus extract lie behind this work.
The study delineates the chemical profile of Mitracarpus scaber and describes the in vitro measurement of the inhibitory effect of the researched fractions on the growth of Dermatophilus congolensis. It proved to be possible to separate fractions responsible for effectiveness from those with a more cell-toxic effect. As a consequence, the research both shows the activity of the extract and provides information of use in the preparation of a controlled and less toxic product that can be marketed locally as a phyto-medicine.
The plant Mitracarpus scaber is fairly widespread, and therefore highly accessible. All stages in the production process, starting from cultivation and proceeding via harvesting, standardisation and conditioning to a suitable means of dispensing can be carried out in situ. High accessibility is ensured by the low cost-price.
As a biochemist, the author has effectively mastered the study of traditionally used medicinal plants. His dissertation is both relevant to sustainable development and carries a considerable scientific value.
report by Prof. J. Totté, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universiteit Antwerpen, Belgium