Endochin-like quinolone-300 and ELQ-316 inhibit Babesia bovis, B. bigemina, B. caballi and Theileria equi
Background: The most common apicomplexan parasites causing bovine babesiosis are Babesia bovis and B. bigemina, while B. caballi and Theileria equi are responsible for equine piroplasmosis. Treatment and control of these diseases are usually achieved using potentially toxic chemotherapeutics, such as imidocarb diproprionate, but drug-resistant parasites are emerging, and alternative effective and safer drugs are needed. Endochin-like quinolones (ELQ)-300 and ELQ-316 proved safe and efficacious
... fe and efficacious against related apicomplexans, such as Plasmodium spp., and ELQ-316 was also effective against B. microti, without showing toxicity in mammals.Methods: Inhibitory effects of ELQ-300 and ELQ-316 were assessed on the growth of cultured B. bovis, B. bigemina, B. caballi and T. equi. Percentage of parasitized erythrocytes was measured by flow cytometry. Effect of the ELQ drugs on the viability of horse and bovine peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) was assessed by monitoring cell metabolic activity using a colorimetric assay.Results: We calculated IC50 ranging from 0.04 to 0.37 nM for ELQ-300, and from 0.002 to 0.1 nM for ELQ-316 at 72 h among all cultured parasites tested. None of the parasites tested were able to replicate in cultures in the presence of the ELQ-300 and ELQ-316 at IC100, which range from 1.3 to 5.7 nM for ELQ-300 and from 1.0 to 6.0 nM for ELQ-316 at 72 h. Neither ELQ-300 nor ELQ-316 altered the viability of equine and bovine PBMC at their IC100 in in vitro testing. Conclusions: ELQ-300 and ELQ-316 showed significant inhibitory activity on the main parasites responsible for bovine babesiosis and equine piroplasmosis at doses that are tolerable to host cells. These ELQ drugs may be viable candidates for developing alternative protocols for the treatment of bovine babesiosis and equine piroplasmosis.