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Rational search of vegetal extracts with Leishmanicidal action

Grant number: 17/18579-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2017
Effective date (End): November 30, 2019
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Parasitology - Protozoology of Parasites
Principal researcher:Luiz Felipe Domingues Passero
Grantee:Beatriz Mendes Santos
Home Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB-CLP). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus Experimental do Litoral Paulista. São Vicente , SP, Brazil


Leishmaniasis are infectious diseases caused by parasitic protozoa, that are transmitted during the blood-feeding of insect vectors, and can be classified clinically as cutaneous or visceral leishmaniasis. The cutaneous forms of leishmaniasis can be caused for, at least, fourteen Leishmania species, that in turn can cause at least four clinical forms of cutaneous leishmaniasis: localized cutaneous leishmaniasis, mucocutaneous leishmaniasis, disseminated leishmaniasis and anergic diffuse leishmaniasis. In spite of the a diversity of parasite species causing disease and the different clinical forms, there are limited therapeutic options, being the pentavalent antimonial the main drug used during the treatment. This drug is toxic for patients, and is able to induce cardiotoxicity and nephrotoxicity, moreover, reports have been constantly published about resistant parasites, that in fact are serious concern about its use. Thus, it is urgent characterize new prototype drugs directed for leishmaniasis treatment. There are several strategies to prospect plants with leishmaniasis activity, such as the popular knowledge. In this regard, our group performs interviews with a group belonging to the third age about its knowledge about plants used for skin diseases and those associated with immunity. This group indicated 15 plants, and among all indications, 5 of them were selected to be studied in our experimental protocol. These plants will be identified and extracts will be produced. These extracts will be assayed against promastigote and amastigote forms of Leishmania (Leishmania) amazonensis. In addition, the cytotoxicity of extracts will be assayed in J774 macrophages. The activity of the extracts will be compared with the activity of amphotericin B or miltefosine. (AU)

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