Plants Used in Traditional Medicine: Extracts and Secondary Metabolites Exhibiting Antileishmanial Activity
Luiz Felipe Domingues Passero, Marcia D. Laurenti, Gabriela Santos-Gomes, Bruno Luiz Soares Campos, Patricia Sartorelli and Joao Henrique G. Lago
Affiliation: Laboratorio de Patologia de Molestias Infecciosas (LIM50), Departamento de Patologia, Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Sao Paulo, Av. Dr. Arnaldo 455, 01246-903, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Keywords: Chemotherapy, leishmaniasis, medicinal plants, secondary metabolites.
Plants and their extracts have been used traditionally against different pathologies, and in some poor regions
they are the only therapeutic source for treatments. Moreover, the identification of specific active secondary metabolites
can be account for amelioration of clinical status of suffering individual. A series of ethnopharmacological surveys
conducted in Brazil recorded the traditional use of plants against different pathologies and interestingly, some of them
presented antileishmanial activity in vitro and in vivo, possibly due to their immunostimulatory, healing and microbicidal
properties. Of note, Leishmania parasites can alter patient’s immunological status, leading to the development of extensive
skin and/or visceral alterations. Therefore, the extracts or secondary metabolites presented in plants that might be capable
of improving the pathological conditions can be attractive candidates in the development of new chemotherapeuticals
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