Med tech proposes research on anti-HIV properties of ‘wild sage’

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 23 May) – A research to determine the bioactivity of the anti-human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) properties of a local herb known as “wild sage” will be submitted for review and possible funding by the Regional Health Research and Development Consortium (RHRDC) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Region 11.

CANDLELIGHT MEMORIAL. Members of grassroots organizations attend the AIDS Candlelight Memorial Day held at the Misamis Oriental Provincial Capitol in Cagayan de Oro City on May 18, 2014. MindaNews photo by Froilan Gallardo

The research, which is being proposed by Nely Mae Cadotdot of the University of Immaculate Conception in Davao City, will undergo a technical assessment next month, Ludivina M. Porticos, director for the university’s Science Resource Center, told reporters on Wednesday.

“The proposal is about determining the mechanism of action of anti-HIV effect of the leaf extract because most studies now, they just determine if there is or there is no bioactivity of the plant,” she said.

She said Cadotdot, a licensed medical technologist, will submit a separate proposal to the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development of the DOST, which showed interest to grant P5 million for the acquisition of High Performance Liquid Chromatograph (HPLC).

The HPLC allows the researcher to further examine the active components of “wild sage,” she said.

“If fraction collection is made available as an accessory to HPLC, the active components of leaf extracts can be separated into fractions, each fraction can be tested for bioactivity,” she said.

Porticos said Cadotdot was among the six participants to the 1st Mentorship Program of the RHRDC 11 aimed to capacitate new researchers, faculties, and medical doctors from the consortium’s medical institutions last year.

The mentorship program was adopted from the RHRDC in West Visayas, she said.

Porticos chairs the committee on research and development of RHRDC 11.

“This is second year.  We are calling for applications. We are calling the beginning researchers, the amateur, who would like to be mentored, they will be given a mentor who can assist them in preparation of their research proposals,” she said.

She said the program, which they will open to 10 qualified researchers, consists of three modules — basics of research writing, methodology, and statistical analysis.

“We would like to encourage beginners to engage in research with the hope of building up a pool of researchers in the field, so we can produce experts in the field,” she said.

A possible funding of P1 million awaits the researchers, she said.

She said that last year four out of six researchers had presented their research proposals before the technical panel of RHRDC 11.

“If they can submit the revised proposals based on suggestions and recommendations of the panel, these four proposals will be considered for funding,” she said.

HIV may lead to acquired immune deficiency syndrome or AIDS, the stage when a person’s immune system becomes too weak to fight off infection and develops certain defining symptoms and illnesses. (Antonio L. Colina IV/MindaNews)