In vitro antiproliferative effects of neuroleptics, antimycotics and antibiotics on the human pathogens Acanthamoeba polyphaga and Naegleria fowleri

Arch Med Res. 2006 Aug;37(6):723-9. doi: 10.1016/j.arcmed.2006.02.007.


Background: Using reproducible conditions in vitro, the aim of this study was to obtain a comparative evaluation of the efficacies of several tricyclic neuroleptics, antimycotics and antibiotics with antiproliferative activities against Acanthamoeba polyphaga and Naegleria fowleri trophozoites.

Methods: We used reproducible conditions in vitro to obtain results.

Results: In the case of A.polyphaga, the tricyclic neuroleptics trifluoperazine and chlorpromazine had the best inhibitory (IC50) effects followed by mepacrine, ketoconazole, pentamidine, miconazole, amphotericin B, and metronidazole. Of all, rifampicin was the least effective. Mepacrine was the most effective compound with the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC100) against A.polyphaga [corrected] The most effective drugs against N. fowleri expressed as (IC50) were as follows: the antimycotics ketoconazole and amphotericin B, followed by trifluoperazine, mepacrine, chlorpromazine, miconazole, and metronidazole. The least effectives were rifampicin and pentamidine. The most potent growth inhibitors (MIC100) against N. fowleri were the antimycotics amphotericin B and ketoconazole and the neuroleptic trifluoperazine. It was clear that there are major differences between the two amebas in their susceptibility to some of the drugs.

Conclusions: The drugs with the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) values could be considered alone or in combination as potential anti-amebic agents for the treatment of the diseases produced by these amebas.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acanthamoeba* / drug effects
  • Acanthamoeba* / physiology
  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antifungal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antipsychotic Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Humans
  • Naegleria fowleri* / drug effects
  • Naegleria fowleri* / physiology


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Antifungal Agents
  • Antipsychotic Agents