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Microencapsulation of Stachytarpheta cayennensis extracts and evaluation of leishmanicidal potential

Grant number: 19/18736-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2020
Effective date (End): February 28, 2021
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Pharmacology - Biochemical and Molecular Pharmacology
Principal Investigator:Edson Roberto da Silva
Grantee:Gabriel Santos Andrade
Host Institution: Faculdade de Zootecnia e Engenharia de Alimentos (FZEA). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Pirassununga , SP, Brazil


Much has been supported by the use of secondary plant metabolites as potential leishmanicidals. Of zoonotic aspect, the leishmaniasis, caused by protozoans of the Leishmania genus, it is a worldwide disease prevalent in undeveloped and emerging countries, like Brazil. The inexistence of a universally accessible and effective drug raises the study and research of new molecules able to prevent the growth of the parasite. One of the ways is the blocking of enzymes from poliamine pathway in Leishmania, preventing the synthesis of trypanothione, a L-Arginine metabolism product with detoxifying activity, capable of neutralize NOS and ROS. Some plants derivatives have shown efficacy in Leishmania arginase inhibition in vitro tests, like quercetin and related compounds. The Stachytarpheta cayennensis extract was effective when tested in parasite cultures, justifying a better method to obtain the plant extract in large scale, from the Pray Drying technique, aiming at its later commercialization as a complementary treatment to allopathic. The quercetin, one of the flavonoids with inhibitory potential, is present in some foods, especially in the black tea. It is suggested that these foods are effective against leishmaniasis, acting as adjuncts to an allopathic treatment. The urgency in discovery new molecules able to advance in clinical trials justifies the longing of the scientific community in this line of research.

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