Abstract
BIOACTIVITY OF LEAF EXTRACTS FROM SPECIES OF PALICOUREA (RUBIACEAE) ON TRYPANOSOMA CRUZI, CANDIDA SP. AND FUSARIUM SOLANI

Camilla Ribeiro Alexandrino, Laís Pessanha de Carvalho, Edésio José Tenório de Melo, Érica de Oliveira Mello, Valdirene Moreira Gomes, Cátia Henriques Callado and Maura Da Cunha*

ABSTRACT

Plants extracts, as well as pure substances, have been reported to possess significant antiparasitic and antimicrobial activity, with no side effects. Investigation into species that belong to families that are already known for having species with chemotaxonomic markers is of great importance. Such is the case with the family Rubiaceae, which, from the phytochemical point of view, is known for the production of bioactive metabolites with high pharmacological potential. We present the results of an investigation into the antiprotozoan and antifungal activity of three plant species of the genus Palicourea (Rubiaceae) by testing different concentrations of their extracts against epimastigotes of Trypanosoma cruzi, the yeasts Candida albicans and C. tropicalis and the filamentous fungus Fusarium solani. Plant leaves were dried, pulverized and submitted to exhaustive extraction with methanol. This extract was partitioned by ethyl acetate, water, butanol, dichloromethane and hexane, and the extracts tested in vitro. The kinetics of the destruction of the parasite were analyzed morphologically using standard techniques for light and transmission electron microscopy. The results were confirmed by morphological deformation of the protozoans and their organelles. The fractions produced by butanol, methanol and ethyl acetate of P. rudgeoides were the best at reducing epistomastigotes. None of the extracts exhibited inhibitory activity on the development yeast and filamentous fungus tested. Additional studies are needed, such as the spectrometric analysis of the extracts, in order to elucidate the metabolite(s) responsible for the results of this study.

Keywords: biological activity, Chagas disease, Candida albicans, light microscopy.


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