In vivo study of effect of copaiba oil obtained from Copaifera martii, on lesions caused by Leishmania amazonensis
Leishmaniasis is still a severe public health problem, with high rates of morbidity and mortality. Unfortunately, the treatment for this infectious disease is essentially limited to pentavalent antimony (Sb), in use for 50 years . A recent study by our research group showed that copaiba oils obtained from different species of Copaifera show in vitro activity against promastigote forms of Leishmania amazonensis . In the present study, we demonstrated the in vivo activity of copaiba oil obtained from Copaifera martii in BALB/c mice infected with L. amazonensis. For the in vivo tests, Balb/c mice were infected subcutaneously with L. amazonensis (1×107 cells/ml) in the right hind footpad. The treatment was started on the 8th week post-infection. Mice were treated topically, orally, orally and topically, or subcutaneously. Treatment with Glucantime® was used as a positive control. The lesion size was measured with a caliper each week during one month of infection. The oral treatment caused a significant (p<0.05) reduction in the average lesion size (1.1±0.4mm) compared with untreated mice (4.4±1.3mm). However, topical (4.9±0.3mm) and subcutaneous (3.0±1.0mm) treatments showed no significant reduction in the average lesion size (p<0.05). Interestingly, copaiba oil may be a promising oral treatment for cutaneous leishmaniasis.
Acknowledgements: This study was supported through grants by CNPq, FINEP, PRONEX/Fund. Araucária
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