Antitrypanosomalin vitroactivity of tropical marine algae extracts
Trypanosomiasis is one of the most important parasitic diseases worldwide. The undesirable side effects and low efficacy of classical trypanocidal drugs underline the necessity of the development of new drugs from natural products. Although marine algae have been recognized as attractive sources of known and novel bioactive compounds, very little research has been focused on antiprotozoal activity. Aqueous and organic extracts of 29 species of marine algae (14 species of Rhodophyta, seven
... ophyta, seven species of Phaeophyta, and eight species of Chlorophyta) collected from the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean coast of the Yucatan Peninsula (Mexico) were evaluated for their antiprotozoal activity in vitro against Trypanosoma cruzi trypomastigotes. The toxicity of these extracts was evaluated using brine shrimp (Artemia salina). The cytotoxicity on mammalian cells was also assessed by the MTT viability assay. The organic extracts from Dictyota caribea Horning & Schnetter, Lobophora variegata (J.V. Lamouroux) Womersley, Turbinaria turbinata Linnaeus, and Laurencia microcladia Kützing possess promising in vitro activity against T. cruzi trypomastigotes. The toxicity displayed by Laurencia microcladia against Artemia salina and the high cytotoxicity exhibited by T. turbinata must be taken into account in further studies.