Antileishmanial and Antitrypanosomal Activities of Flavonoids

  • Flore Nardella
  • Jean-Baptiste Gallé
  • Mélanie Bourjot
  • Bernard Weniger
  • Catherine Vonthron-Sénécheau
Part of the Sustainable Development and Biodiversity book series (SDEB, volume 19)


This chapter focuses on the ability of flavonoid aglycones and glycosides to inhibit the growth of protozoan parasites of the genera Leishmania and Trypanosoma in different in vitro and in vivo models, namely pathogenic species for humans implicated in visceral (L. donovani, L. infantum) and cutaneous leishmaniasis (L. braziliensis, L. major, L. enriettii, L. mexicana), African sleeping sickness (T. brucei), and Chagas disease (T. cruzi). Several hundred naturally occurring flavonoids and their synthetic analogues were selected from a literature survey combining flavonoids exhibiting IC50 values smaller than 50 µM in one or more of the commonly used assays for antileishmanial or antitrypanosomal activity assessment. The trend of this survey indicates that the most active compounds against Leishmania spp. belong to chalcone, biflavone, and aurone classes, regardless of the performed assay. Few compounds of these classes exhibit submicromolar antileishmanial activity against axenic or intracellular amastigotes with no in vitro cytotoxicity. Flavones and flavonols are globally less active than chalcones, biflavones, and aurones. Flavones, flavan-3-ols, and isoflavones are less studied and less active. The most promising compounds against Trypanosoma brucei belong to synthetic chalcone, isoflavan, and isoflavanol classes, displaying submicromolar activities on trypomastigotes and selectivity indexes hundred times higher. On T. cruzi, flavan-3-ols are the most potent compounds, followed by flavones and flavonols. Globally, fewer compounds have been evaluated on T. cruzi than on T. brucei, and their activities and selectivity are often lower.


Flavonoid Leishmania Trypanosoma Chalcone Aurone Flavonol Isoflavonoid 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Flore Nardella
    • 1
  • Jean-Baptiste Gallé
    • 2
  • Mélanie Bourjot
    • 2
  • Bernard Weniger
    • 2
  • Catherine Vonthron-Sénécheau
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratoire d’Innovation Thérapeutique UMR CNRS 7200Faculty of Pharmacy, University of StrasbourgIllkirch CedexFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire d’Innovation Thérapeutique UMR CNRS 7200Faculty of Pharmacy, University of StrasbourgIllkirchFrance

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