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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2017, Article ID 6067172, 14 pages
Research Article

Parasite Killing of Leishmania (V) braziliensis by Standardized Propolis Extracts

1Instituto Gonçalo Moniz, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Salvador, BA, Brazil
2Universidade Federal da Bahia, Salvador, BA, Brazil
3Centro das Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde, Universidade Federal do Oeste da Bahia, Barreiras, BA, Brazil
4Instituto de Química, Universidade Estadual Paulista, Araraquara, SP, Brazil
5Programa de Pós-Graduação em Biotecnologia, Universidade de Araraquara, Araraquara, SP, Brazil
6Apis Flora Industrial e Comercial Ltda., Laboratório de Pesquisa, Desenvolvimento e Inovação, Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil
7Departamento de Ciências Farmacêuticas, Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo, Avenida do Café s/n, 14049-900 Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil

Correspondence should be addressed to Andresa A. Berretta; rb.moc.arolfsipa@atterreb.aserdna and Valéria M. Borges; rb.zurcoif.aihab@segrobv

Received 16 February 2017; Revised 10 April 2017; Accepted 27 April 2017; Published 13 June 2017

Academic Editor: Salvatore Chirumbolo

Copyright © 2017 Jéssica Rebouças-Silva 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.


Treatments based on antimonials to cutaneous leishmaniasis (CL) entail a range of toxic side effects. Propolis, a natural compound widely used in traditional medical applications, exhibits a range of biological effects, including activity against infectious agents. The aim of this study was to test the potential leishmanicidal effects of different propolis extracts against Leishmania (Viannia) braziliensis promastigotes and intracellular amastigotes in vitro. Stationary-phase L. (V) braziliensis promastigotes were incubated with medium alone or treated with dry, alcoholic, or glycolic propolis extract (10, 50, or 100 μg/mL) for 96 h. Our data showed that all extracts exhibited a dose-dependent effect on the viability of L. (V) braziliensis promastigotes, while controlling the parasite burden inside infected macrophages. Dry propolis extract significantly modified the inflammatory profile of murine macrophages by downmodulating TGF-β and IL-10 production, while upmodulating TNF-α. All three types of propolis extract were found to reduce nitric oxide and superoxide levels in activated L. braziliensis-infected macrophages. Altogether, our results showed that propolis extracts exhibited a leishmanicidal effect against both stages of L. (V) braziliensis. The low cell toxicity and efficient microbicidal effect of alcoholic or glycolic propolis extracts make them candidates to an additive treatment for cutaneous leishmaniasis.