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Experimental Parasitology 132 (2012) 123–128

Contents lists available at SciVerse ScienceDirect

Experimental Parasitology
journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/yexpr

Trypanocidal and cytotoxic activities of essential oils from medicinal plants
of Northeast of Brazil
Andrezza Raposo Borges a, Juliana Ramos de Albuquerque Aires a, Taciana Mirely Maciel Higino a,
Maria das GraçasFreire de Medeiros b, Antonia Maria das Graças Lopes Citó b,
José Arimatéia Dantas Lopes b, Regina Celia Bressan Queiroz de Figueiredo a,⇑
a
b

Departamento de Microbiologia, Centro de Pesquisa Aggeu Magalhães, FIOCRUZ, PE, Av. Prof. Moraes Rego s/n Cidade Universitária-Campus da UFPE, Recife-PE, 50670-420, Brazil
Departamento de Química, Universidade Federal do Piauí, Campus UniversitárioMinistro Petrônio Portela-Ininga, Teresina-PI, 64049-550, Brazil

highlights

graphical abstract

" The trypanocidal potential of

"

"

"

"

essential oils from medicinal plants
was evaluated.
The essential oils tested were active
against all evolutive forms of
Trypanosoma cruzi.
The essential oil from Lippia sidoides
was the most effective against
trypomastigotes.
Lippiaoriganoides essential oil was
the most effective against
amastigotes.
All essential oils were more specific
against parasites than mammal cells.

article

info

Article history:
Received 26 January 2012
Received in revised form 12 June 2012
Accepted 13 June 2012
Available online 4 July 2012
Keywords:
Essential oils
Trypanosoma cruzi
Chagas disease
Chemotherapy
Cytotoxicity

.abstract
Chagas disease, caused by Trypanosoma cruzi, is an important cause of mortality and morbidity in Latin
America. There are no vaccines available, the chemotherapy used to treat this illness has serious side
effects and its efficacy on the chronic phase of disease is still a matter of debate. In a search for alternative
treatment for Chagas disease, essential oils extracted fromtraditional medicinal plants Lippia sidoides,
Lippia origanoides, Chenopodium ambrosioides, Ocimum gratissimum, Justicia pectorales and Vitex agnus-castus were investigated in vitro for trypanocidal and cytotoxic activities. Essential Oils were extracted by
hydrodistillation and submitted to chemical analysis by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. The
concentration of essential oils necessary toinhibit 50% of the epimastigotes or amastigotes growth
(IC50) and to kill 50% of trypomastigote forms (LC50) was estimated. The most prevalent chemical constituents of these essential oils were monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes. All essential oils tested demonstrated an inhibitory effect on the parasite growth and survival. L. sidoides and L. origanoides essential
oils were the most effective againsttrypomastigote and amastigote forms respectively. No significant
cytotoxic effects were observed in mouse peritoneal macrophages incubated with essential oils which
were more selective against the parasites than mammalian cells. Taken together, our results point
towards the use of these essential oils as potential chemotherapeutic agent against T. cruzi.
Ó 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rightsreserved.

⇑ Corresponding author. Address: Departamento de Microbiologia, Centro de
Pesquisas Aggeu Magalhães/FIOCRUZ, Av. Moraes Rego s/n – Campus da UFPE,
Cidade Universitária, Recife 50670-420, Pernambuco, Brazil. Fax: +55 8134531911.
E-mail address: rcbqf01@gmail.com (R.C.B.Q. de Figueiredo).
0014-4894/$ - see front matter Ó 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.exppara.2012.06.003

1. Introduction
American trypanosomiasis, caused by the protozoa Trypanosoma cruzi, is an important public health concern in Latin America

124

A.R. Borges et al. / Experimental Parasitology 132 (2012) 123–128

(Rocha et al., 2007). It is estimated that 18 million people are infected and 100 million people live in areas at risk of infection
(WHO, 2008).
The...
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