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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2018, Article ID 7891748, 8 pages
Research Article

Screening of Three Echinoderm Species as New Opportunity for Drug Discovery: Their Bioactivities and Antimicrobial Properties

1Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Biologiche ed Ambientali, Università del Salento, Via Prov.le Lecce-Monteroni, Lecce, Italy
2Istituto per l’Ambiente Marino Costiero, U.O.S. di Taranto, CNR, Via Roma 3, Taranto, Italy
3Istituto di Scienze delle Produzioni Alimentari, U.O.S. di Lecce, Via Prov.le Lecce-Monteroni, Lecce, Italy

Correspondence should be addressed to Loredana Stabili; ti.rnc.cmai@ilibats.anaderol

Received 20 September 2017; Accepted 21 January 2018; Published 1 March 2018

Academic Editor: Jae Youl Cho

Copyright © 2018 Loredana Stabili 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.


Echinoderms are a renewable resource with an economic value due to their increasing demand as food and/or source of bioactive molecules exerting antitumor, antiviral, anticoagulant, antioxidant, and antimicrobial activities. In this framework, the present study is aimed at investigating the antibacterial, antioxidant, and hemolytic activities in the three Echinoderm species Echinaster sepositus, Arbacia lixula, and Sphaerechinus granularis. The sea star E. sepositus showed lysozyme-like activity (mean diameter of lysis of  mm), an antimicrobial activity against the human emerging pathogens Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Candida famata, and a strong lytic activity (%) towards the human red blood cells. Furthermore A. lixula and E. sepositus had the highest antioxidant activity ( and  nmolTE/mL, resp.). From toxicological assays, it was shown that E. sepositus was not toxic towards HeLa cells and Vibrio fischeri, encouraging the exploitation of this species in the pharmaceutical field. Therefore, our findings have implications due to the ongoing explosion of antibiotic-resistant infections because of the new opportunistic pathogens and the need to discover antibacterial agents with new modes of action. Also the recorded antioxidant activity taking into account the need to find natural antioxidants useful for human health is intriguing.