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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 185918, 11 pages
Original Article

Brazilian Green Propolis: Effects In Vitro and In Vivo on Trypanosoma cruzi

1Laboratório de Biologia Celular, Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Av. Brasil 4365, Manguinhos 21045-900, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
2Laboratório de Biologia Estrutural, Instituto Oswaldo Cruz, FIOCRUZ, CP 926, 21045-900, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Received 12 November 2008; Accepted 16 January 2009

Copyright © 2011 Kelly Salomão et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The composition of a Brazilian green propolis ethanolic extract (Et-Bra) and its effect on Trypanosoma cruzi trypomastigotes and other pathogenic microorganisms have already been reported. Here, we further investigated Et-Bra targets in T. cruzi and its effect on experimental infection of mice. The IC50/4 days for inhibition of amastigote proliferation was 8.5 ± 1.8 μg mL−1, with no damage to the host cells. In epimastigotes Et-Bra induced alterations in reservosomes, Golgi complex and mitochondrion. These effects were confirmed by flow cytometry analysis. In trypomastigotes, Et-Bra led to the loss of plasma membrane integrity. The in vitro studies indicate that Et-Bra interferes in the functionality of the plasma membrane in trypomastigotes and of reservosomes and mitochondrion in epimastigotes. Acutely infected mice were treated orally with Et-Bra and the parasitemia, mortality and GPT, GOT, CK and urea levels were monitored. The extract (25–300 mg kg−1 body weight/day for 10 days) reduced the parasitemia, although not at significant levels; increased the survival of the animals and did not induce any hepatic, muscular lesion or renal toxicity. Since Et-Bra was not toxic to the animals, it could be assayed in combination with other drugs. Et-Bra could be a potential metacyclogenesis blocker, considering its effect on reservosomes, which are an important energy source during parasite differentiation.