Anti-infective potential of marine invertebrates and seaweeds from the Brazilian coast

Molecules. 2013 May 16;18(5):5761-78. doi: 10.3390/molecules18055761.


This manuscript describes the evaluation of anti-infective potential in vitro of organic extracts from nine sponges, one ascidian, two octocorals, one bryozoan, and 27 seaweed species collected along the Brazilian coast. Antimicrobial activity was tested against Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 25923), Enterococcus faecalis (ATCC 29212), Pseudomonas aeruginosa (ATCC 27853), Escherichia coli (ATCC 25922) and Candida albicans (ATCC 10231) by the disk diffusion method. Antiprotozoal activity was evaluated against Leishmania braziliensis (MHOM/BR/96/LSC96-H3) promastigotes and Trypanosoma cruzi (MHOM/BR/00/Y) epimastigotes by MTT assay. Activity against intracellular amastigotes of T. cruzi and L. brasiliensis in murine macrophages was also evaluated. Antiviral activity was tested against Herpes Simplex Virus type 1 (HSV-1, KOS strain) by the plaque number reduction assay (IC₅₀). Cytotoxicity on VERO cells was evaluated by the MTT assay (CC₅₀). The results were expressed as SI = CC₅₀/IC₅₀. The most promising antimicrobial results were obtained against S. aureus and C. albicans with Dragmacidon reticulatum. Among the seaweeds, only Osmundaria obtusiloba showed moderate activity against P. aeruginosa. Concerning antiprotozoal activity, Bugula neritina, Carijoa riseii, Dragmaxia anomala and Haliclona (Halichoclona) sp. showed the most interesting results, mainly against extracellular promastigote forms of L. braziliensis (66, 35.9, 97.2, and 43.6% inhibition, respectively). Moreover, six species of seaweeds Anadyomene saldanhae, Caulerpa cupressoides, Canistrocarpus cervicornis, Dictyota sp., Ochtodes secundiramea, and Padina sp. showed promising results against L. braziliensis (87.9, 51.7, 85.9, 93.3, 99.7, and 80.9% inhibition, respectively), and only Dictyota sp. was effective against T. cruzi (60.4% inhibition). Finally, the antiherpes activity was also evaluated, with Haliclona (Halichoclona) sp. and Petromica citrina showing the best results (SI = 11.9 and SI > 5, respectively). All the active extracts deserve special attention in further studies to chemically characterize the bioactive compounds, and to perform more refined biological assays.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anthozoa / chemistry*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents* / chemistry
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents* / isolation & purification
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents* / pharmacology
  • Antiprotozoal Agents* / chemistry
  • Antiprotozoal Agents* / isolation & purification
  • Antiprotozoal Agents* / pharmacology
  • Bacteria / growth & development
  • Brazil
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Cytotoxins* / chemistry
  • Cytotoxins* / isolation & purification
  • Cytotoxins* / pharmacology
  • Leishmania braziliensis / growth & development
  • Porifera / chemistry*
  • Seaweed / chemistry*
  • Trypanosoma cruzi / growth & development
  • Urochordata / chemistry*
  • Vero Cells


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Antiprotozoal Agents
  • Cytotoxins