Tamoxifen might be effective in the treatment of Leishmania amazonensis infections

Jun 11, 2008

Researchers from the University of São Paulo, Brazil, have shown the efficacy of an alternative drug against Leishmania amazonensis, one of the species that causes cutaneous leishmaniasis in South America. Details, published June 11th in the open-access journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, explain how tamoxifen – a medication widely used in the treatment and prevention of breast cancer – fights the parasitic disease in experimentally infected mice.

Unicellular parasites of Leishmania genus are the causative agents of leishmaniasis. Treatment of leishmaniasis requires the administration of toxic and poorly tolerated drugs. Having previously demonstrated that tamoxifen was active against parasites in vitro, the authors now show its efficacy in a rodent model of infection with L. amazonensis.

The Brazilian group, led by Silvia Uliana, observed that infected mice treated with 20 mg/kg/day of tamoxifen for 2 weeks showed a significant reduction in parasite burden. Researchers also detected a notable delay in the development of skin ulcers, a typical symptom of the disease caused by L. amazonensis.

The promising results presented in this study, coupled with the fact that tamoxifen's safety and pharmacological profiles in humans are well established, point to a new alternative in the treatment of leishmaniasis. Further trials will be necessary in other experimental models of infection before the drug is tested in humans.

Reference: www.plosntds.org/doi/pntd.0000249

Source: Public Library of Science

Explore further: Doctors' checklist could help decrease length of COPD patients' hospital stay

Related Stories

California looks Down Under for drought advice

45 minutes ago

California's longest and sharpest drought on record has its increasingly desperate water stewards looking for solutions in Australia, the world's driest inhabited continent.

Location matters in the lowland Amazon

2 minutes ago

You know the old saying: Location, location, location? It turns out that it applies to the Amazon rainforest, too. New work from Carnegie's Greg Asner illustrates a hidden tapestry of chemical variation across ...

Recommended for you

Score IDs patients with upper extremity DVT at low risk

3 hours ago

(HealthDay)—For patients with upper-extremity deep vein thrombosis (DVT), six easily available factors can be used to create a score that identifies those at low risk of adverse events during the first ...

Combined drug treatment combats kidney disease

14 hours ago

A recent discovery by drug researchers whereby coupling specific cell membrane receptors has altered kidney cell function has triggered a re-think of how to treat chronic kidney disease (CKD) more effectively.

Active substance targeting dreaded hospital germs

14 hours ago

In the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF), scientists have conducted clinical studies on an active substance against the dreaded hospital pathogen Staphylococcus aureus: a highly effective protein from bacteriophages ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.