Assessment of the anti-protozoal activity of crude Carica papaya seed extract against Trypanosoma cruzi

Molecules. 2013 Oct 11;18(10):12621-32. doi: 10.3390/molecules181012621.


In order to determine the in vivo activity against the protozoan Trypanosoma cruzi, two doses (50 and 75 mg/kg) of a chloroform extract of Carica papaya seeds were evaluated compared with a control group of allopurinol. The activity of a mixture of the three main compounds (oleic, palmitic and stearic acids in a proportion of 45.9% of oleic acid, 24.1% of palmitic and 8.52% of stearic acid previously identified in the crude extract of C. papaya was evaluated at doses of 100, 200 and 300 mg/kg. Both doses of the extracts were orally administered for 28 days. A significant reduction (p < 0.05) in the number of blood trypomastigotes was observed in animals treated with the evaluated doses of the C. papaya extract in comparison with the positive control group (allopurinol 8.5 mg/kg). Parasitemia in animals treated with the fatty acids mixture was also significantly reduced (p < 0.05), compared to negative control animals. These results demonstrate that the fatty acids identified in the seed extracts of C. papaya (from ripe fruit) are able to reduce the number of parasites from both parasite stages, blood trypomastigote and amastigote (intracellular stage).

MeSH terms

  • Allopurinol / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Carica / chemistry*
  • Chagas Disease / drug therapy*
  • Chagas Disease / parasitology
  • Chagas Disease / pathology
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Myocarditis / parasitology
  • Myocarditis / pathology
  • Myocardium / pathology
  • Parasitemia / drug therapy
  • Parasitemia / parasitology
  • Parasitemia / pathology
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Seeds / chemistry*
  • Trypanocidal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Trypanosoma cruzi / drug effects*


  • Plant Extracts
  • Trypanocidal Agents
  • Allopurinol