Antiparasitic effect ofDinoponera quadricepsgiant ant venom

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Abstract

Neglected tropical diseases (NTD) are treated with toxic therapy of limited efficacy. Previously, we studied the antimicrobial effect of Dinoponera quadriceps venom (DqV) against bacteria. To continue the study, we report in this short communication the antimicrobial effect of DqV against Leishmania amazonensis and Trypanosoma cruzi. DqV inhibits the promastigote forms of L. amazonensis and all T. cruzi developmental forms, with low toxicity in host cells. DqV causes cell death in T. cruzi through necrotic and apoptotic mechanisms observed by staining the cells with annexin V-FITC (AX) and propidium iodide (PI), loss of mitochondrial membrane potential by flow cytometry analyses and confocal microscopy and morphological alterations, such as loss of membrane integrity and cell shrinkage by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). In conclusion, we suggest there is an antimicrobial effect also on parasites.

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