Comparison of the efficacy of free and a non ionic surfactant vesicular formulation of paromomycin in a murine model of visceral leishmaniasis.

D. Williams, A. B. Mullen, A. J. Baillie, K. C. Carter

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Non-ionic-surfactant vesicular (NIV) formulations of paromomycin have been tested in-vitro and in-vivo for their activity against Leishmania donovani. Production of NIV was dependent both on the surfactant used and on the concentration of paromomycin; only two of the surfactants studied formed vesicles at the highest paromomycin concentration (9 mg mL(-1)). At surfactant-lipid concentrations > or = 1.5 mM, suspensions of NIV (drug- or glucose-loaded) were cytotoxic to macrophages infected with L. donovani; high levels of nitrite were produced in cell supernatants. At surfactant-lipid concentrations < 1.5 mM, drug-loaded NIV were more effective than the same dose of free drug, in terms of the percentage of cells infected and the number of parasites/cell. At surfactant-lipid concentrations < or = 0.15 mM, drug-loaded NIV were ineffective in-vitro. In-vivo, treatment with decaethylene glycol mono n-hexadecyl ether paromomycin NIV was more effective than hexaethylene glycol mono n-hexadecyl ether paromomycin NIV, in terms of suppression of liver and spleen parasite burdens. Against liver parasites, both types of paromomycin-loaded NIV were more effective than free drug. Neither the NIV nor free forms of paromomycin caused significant suppression of bone-marrow parasites. The study shows that entrapment of paromomycin in NIV can be used to increase its antileishmanial activity in-vitro and in-vivo.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1351-1356
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1998


  • Leishmania donovani
  • non‐ionic‐surfactant vesicular formulations
  • paromomycin

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