Therapeutic switching: from antidermatophytic essential oils to new leishmanicidal products

Houël E, Gonzalez G, Bessière JM, Odonne G, Eparvier V, Deharo E, Stien D
Memórias do Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, 2015


This study examined whether the antidermatophytic activity of essential oils (EOs) can be used as an indicator for the discovery of active natural products against Leishmania amazonensis. The aerial parts of seven plants were hydrodistilled. Using broth microdilution techniques, the obtained EOs were tested against three strains of dermatophytes (Trichophyton mentagrophytes, Microsporum gypseum and Microsporum canis). To compare the EOs antifungal and antiparasitic effects, the EOs activities against axenic amastigotes of L. amazonensis were concurrently evaluated. For the most promising EOs, their antileishmanial activities against parasites infecting peritoneal macrophages of BALB/c mice were measured. The most interesting antifungal candidates were the EOs from Cymbopogon citratus, Otacanthus azureus and Protium heptaphyllum, whereas O. azureus, Piper hispidum and P. heptaphyllum EOs exhibited the lowest 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) values against axenic amastigotes, thus revealing a certain correspondence between both activities. The P. hispidum EO was identified as the most promising product in the results from the infected macrophages model (IC50: 4.7 µg/mL, safety index: 8). The most abundant compounds found in this EO were sesquiterpenes, notably curzerene and furanodiene. Eventually, the evaluation of the antidermatophytic activity of EOs appears to be an efficient method for identifying new potential drugs for the treatment of L. amazonensis.


Houël E, Gonzalez G, Bessière JM, et al. Therapeutic switching: from antidermatophytic essential oils to new leishmanicidal products. Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 2015;110(1):106-13.

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