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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 1992 Aug;36(8):1630-4.

Hexadecylphosphocholine: oral treatment of visceral leishmaniasis in mice.

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  • 1Institut für Allgemeine Hygiene and Tropenhygiene, Windausweg, Göttingen, Germany.


Hexadecylphosphocholine (He-PC), a novel phospholipid derivative, was tested against Leishmania donovani and Leishmania infantum, the causative agents of visceral leishmaniasis. In vitro, promastigotes were highly susceptible to He-PC; the 50% inhibitory concentrations were between 0.89 and 2.25 micrograms/ml for the different leishmanial strains. In vivo, a marked antileishmanial activity in infected BALB/c mice could be demonstrated after oral administration of He-PC. Whereas parasite suppression and killing in the liver were comparable after 5 days of treatment with He-PC (10 or 20 mg/kg of body weight per day administered orally) and sodium stibogluconate (120 mg of pentavalent antimonal agent per kg/day administered subcutaneously), a superior reduction in the parasite load in the spleen and bone marrow was observed after oral treatment with He-PC. After a 4-week treatment period, parasite suppression in the spleen was better than that observed with standard sodium stibogluconate therapy by a factor of more than 600.

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