Malaria remains one of the most important infectious diseases in the world. In 2017 alone, approximately 219 million people were infected with malaria, and 435,000 people died of this disease. Plasmodium falciparum, which causes falciparum malaria, is becoming resistant to artemisinin (ART) in Southeast Asia; therefore, new antimalarial drugs are urgently needed. Some excellent antimalarial drugs, such as quinine and ART, were originally obtained from plants. Hence, we analyzed the antimalarial effects of marine natural products to find new antimalarial agents. We used a malaria growth inhibition assay to determine the antimalarial ability and half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) values of the marine organism–derived compounds. Three compounds (kapakahine A, kapakahine B, and kulolide-1) showed antimalarial effects, and one (kapakahine F) showed selective antimalarial effects on the Dd2 clone. Although the IC50 values obtained for these compounds were greater than that of ART, their potency against P. falciparum is sufficient to warrant further investigation of these compounds as possible drug leads.

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