A new effective antiplasmodial compound: Nanoformulated pyrimethamine

J Glob Antimicrob Resist. 2020 Mar;20:309-315. doi: 10.1016/j.jgar.2019.08.002. Epub 2019 Aug 9.


Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of pyrimethamine-loaded poloxamer 407 nanomicelles on Plasmodium berghei strain NICD in vivo.

Methods: Pyrimethamine-loaded nanomicelles were prepared and their zeta potential, particle size and polydispersity index were measured. For antiplasmodial assessment, 54 mice were randomly divided into six groups. Four groups were infected intraperitoneally with P. berghei, whereas the two remaining groups did not receive the parasite (negative controls). Three of the P. berghei-infected groups received treatment with either pyrimethamine-loaded nanomicelles (2 mg/kg), pyrimethamine (2 mg/kg) or empty nanomicelles (2 mg/kg); the fourth group remained untreated (positive control). The parasitaemia rate, survival rate and histopathological changes in the liver, spleen and kidneys were examined and were compared with the negative and positive control groups.

Results: The mean parasitaemia rate differed significantly between the nanoformulated pyrimethamine group and each of the other groups (P<0.05). Moreover, the survival rate of mice in the nanoformulated pyrimethamine group (7/9; 78%) was significantly higher compared with each of the other groups (P<0.01). The main histopathological changes, including hepatic necrosis in the liver, lymphoid hypoplasia in the spleen, and tubular nephrosis and perivascular and interstitial lymphocytic infiltration in the kidneys, were considerably lower in the nanoformulated pyrimethamine group than in the pyrimethamine and positive control groups.

Conclusion: Pyrimethamine-loaded nanomicelles showed potent antimalarial activity and can be considered as a potential candidate for further examination of their suitability as an antimalarial drug.

Keywords: Malaria; Nanomicelles; Plasmodium berghei; Poloxamer 407; Pyrimethamine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antimalarials / administration & dosage*
  • Antimalarials / chemical synthesis
  • Antimalarials / chemistry
  • Antimalarials / pharmacology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drug Compounding
  • Liver / drug effects
  • Liver / parasitology
  • Malaria / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Micelles
  • Nanoparticles
  • Parasitemia / drug therapy*
  • Particle Size
  • Plasmodium berghei / drug effects*
  • Plasmodium berghei / pathogenicity
  • Poloxamer / chemistry*
  • Pyrimethamine / administration & dosage*
  • Pyrimethamine / chemical synthesis
  • Pyrimethamine / chemistry
  • Pyrimethamine / pharmacology
  • Random Allocation
  • Spleen / drug effects
  • Spleen / parasitology
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antimalarials
  • Micelles
  • Poloxamer
  • Pyrimethamine