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Revista Cubana de Medicina Tropical

Print version ISSN 0375-0760On-line version ISSN 1561-3054

Abstract

GARCIA PARRA, Marley; MONZOTE FIDALGO, Lianet; MONTALVO ALVARES, Ana Margarita  and  SCULL LIZAMA, Ramón. In vitro anti-leishmanial evaluation of extracts from Citrus limetta, Cucurbita maxima y Rhoeo spathacea. Rev Cubana Med Trop [online]. 2008, vol.60, n.3. ISSN 0375-0760.

BACKGROUND: leishmaniosis covers a group of infectious diseases caused by Leishmania genus hemoflagellate organisms. At present, this disease is prevailing in 88 tropical countries worldwide; it is estimated that 1.5 to 2 million new cases will occur every year. The control of the disease is deficient, mainly because there is no effective vaccine available. Although several drugs for treatment exist, all of them require parenteral way of administration, delayed and costly therapies and cause high toxicity. The tropical disease program of the World Health Organization considers plant research as an essential priority for Leishmania treatment. OBJECTIVE: to evaluate the antileishmanial action of extracts from Citrus limetta, Cucurbita maxima y Rhoeo spathacea. METHODS: aLeishmania amazonensis strain, the causative agent of cutaneous leishmaniosis, was used in this paper. The extract effect on the stagings of promastigot and amastigot of the parasite as well as on the peritoneal macrophages from BALB/c mouse was determined to assess its possible toxicity. RESULTS: Curcubita maxima y Rhoeo spathacea showed higher percentage of growth inhibition in promastigots. Good anti-leishmanial activity was also observed against amastigots, whereas its citotoxicity was moderate, with a selectivity index of 3. CONCLUSIONS: Curcubita maxima y Rhoeo spathacea extracts were the only ones that had anti-leishmanial activity.

Keywords : Leishmania amazonensis; Cuban plant extracts; Citrus limetta; Cucurbita maxima; Rhoeo spathace.

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