In vitro trypanocidal activity of the anti-helminthic drug niclosamide

Exp Parasitol. 2008 Apr;118(4):637-40. doi: 10.1016/j.exppara.2007.12.001. Epub 2007 Dec 15.


Only a few drugs are available for chemotherapy of African trypanosomiasis and there is an urgent need for the development of new anti-trypanosomal agents. In this study, the anti-helminthic drug niclosamide was tested for its trypanocidal activity in vitro using culture-adapted bloodstream forms of Trypanosoma brucei brucei and Trypanosoma congolense. The concentrations of niclosamide to reduce the growth rate by 50% and to kill all cells were in the low- and mid micromolar ranges for T. b. brucei and T. congolense, respectively. The very low toxicity of niclosamide for mammals makes the compound interesting for drug development for African trypanosomiasis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anthelmintics / chemistry
  • Anthelmintics / pharmacology
  • Anthelmintics / toxicity
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • HL-60 Cells
  • Humans
  • Niclosamide / chemistry
  • Niclosamide / pharmacology*
  • Niclosamide / toxicity
  • Parasitic Sensitivity Tests
  • Trypanocidal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Trypanocidal Agents / toxicity
  • Trypanosoma brucei brucei / drug effects*
  • Trypanosoma brucei brucei / growth & development
  • Trypanosoma congolense / drug effects*
  • Trypanosoma congolense / growth & development
  • Trypanosomiasis, African / drug therapy


  • Anthelmintics
  • Trypanocidal Agents
  • Niclosamide