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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter April 18, 2017

Amoebicidal activity of α-bisabolol, the main sesquiterpene in chamomile (Matricaria recutita L.) essential oil against the trophozoite stage of Acanthamoeba castellani Neff

Soumaya Hajaji, Ines Sifaoui, Atteneri López-Arencibia, María Reyes-Batlle, Basilio Valladares, José E. Pinero, Jacob Lorenzo-Morales and Hafidh Akkari
From the journal Acta Parasitologica


Acanthamoeba genus includes opportunistic pathogens which are distributed worldwide and are causative agents of a fatal encephalitis and severe keratitis in humans and other animals. Until present there are not fully effective therapeutic agents against this pathogen and thus the need to search for novel anti-amoebic compounds is urgent. Recently, essential oils of aromatic and medicinal plants have shown activity against Acanthamoeba strains. Therefore, this study was aimed to evaluate the activity of main component of chamomile essential oil (a sesquiterpene) namely α-bisabolol against the Acanthamoeba castellani Neff strain. After evaluation of the activity and toxicity of this molecule, IC50 values of 20.839 ± 2.015 for treated amoebae as well as low citotoxicty levels in a murine macrophage cell line was observed. Moreover, in order to elucidate mechanism of action of this molecule, changes in chromatin condensation levels, permeability of the plasmatic membrane, the mitochondrial membrane potential and the ATP levels in the treated amoebic strains were checked. The obtained results revealed that α-bisabolol was able to induce apoptosis, increase the permeability of the plasmatic membrane and decrease both mitochondrial and ATP levels in the treated amoebae. Therefore, and given the obtained results, α-bisabolol could be used a future therapeutic agent against Acanthamoeba infections.


This work was supported by the grants RICET (project no. RD12/0018/0012 of the programme of Redes Temáticas de Investigación Cooperativa, FIS), Spanish Ministry of Health, Madrid, Spain, the Project PI13/00490 "Protozoosis Emergentes por Amebas de Vida Libre: Aislamiento, Caracterización, Nuevas Aproximaciones Terapéuticas y Traslación Clínica de los Resultados" from the Instituto de Salud Carlos III, and Projects ref. AGUA3 "Amebas de Vida Libre como Marcadores de Calidad del Agua" and BIO24 "Principios Activos Inductores De Apoptosis En La Quimioterapia De Tripanosomosis Y Leishmaniosis" from CajaCanarias Fundación. SH was funded by "Ayudas para estancias de estudiantes de posgrado e investigadores americanos y africanos – 2016" of the University of La Laguna and by "Laboratoire d’Epidémiologie d’Infections Enzootiques des Herbivores en Tunisie" (Ministère de l’enseignement supérieur, Tunisia). JLM was supported by the Ramón y Cajal Subprogramme from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitivity RYC-2011-08863. IS and ALA were supported by the Agustín de Bethancourt Programme.


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Received: 2016-12-16
Revised: 2016-12-27
Accepted: 2016-12-30
Published Online: 2017-4-18
Published in Print: 2017-6-1

© 2017 W. Stefański Institute of Parasitology, PAS

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