Parasitology Research

, Volume 113, Issue 8, pp 2933–2940 | Cite as

Anti-Trichomonas vaginalis activity from triterpenoid derivatives

  • Adrine Maria Innocente
  • Patrícia de Brum Vieira
  • Amanda Piccoli Frasson
  • Bruna Bento Casanova
  • Grace Gosmann
  • Simone Cristina Baggio Gnoatto
  • Tiana Tasca
Original Paper


Trichomonas vaginalis is a flagellated parasite that causes trichomonosis, the most common non-viral sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the world. Worryingly, trichomonosis is associated to increased transmission of HIV. Due to high frequency of the infection during pregnancy and the development of metronidazole-resistant isolates, therapeutic alternatives to 5-nitroimidazole are being searched. Triterpenes are natural products presenting several biological activities such as anti-protozoal activity. The aim of this study was to evaluate the in vitro anti-T. vaginalis activity from betulinic and ursolic acids, as well as semisynthetic derivatives obtained. Compounds obtained from betulinic acid presented better activity than those from ursolic acid. Piperazine derivatived from betulinic acid presented minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) value of 91.2 μM, and the kinetic growth curve performed with parasites treated with this most active compound revealed complete inhibition of trophozoite proliferation at 2 h of incubation and total abolition of trophozoite growth in 24 h, revealing that the piperazine derivative is an efficient trichomonacidal molecule. The same compound promoted total erythrocyte lysis and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) liberation of 83 and 100 % (at 45.6 and 91.2 μM, respectively), indicating parasite membrane damage. The piperazine derivative demonstrated cytotoxic effect against the HMVII and HeLa cell lineages at the MIC value. This is the first report of semisynthetic triterpenoid derivatives with anti-T. vaginalis activity, revealing the high potential of these compounds as trichomonacidal agents.


Triterpenes Anti-Trichomonas vaginalis activity Ursolic acid Betulinic acid Semisynthetic derivatives 



This study was supported by grant from NANOBIOTEC-Brasil (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior, CAPES) and by grant and financial support from INCT-IF. We thank the Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências Farmacêuticas (PPGCF/UFRGS). T.T. thanks CNPq for researcher fellowship and for financial support (grants 475315/2011-1 and 474930/2012-2).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adrine Maria Innocente
    • 1
  • Patrícia de Brum Vieira
    • 2
  • Amanda Piccoli Frasson
    • 2
  • Bruna Bento Casanova
    • 1
  • Grace Gosmann
    • 1
  • Simone Cristina Baggio Gnoatto
    • 1
  • Tiana Tasca
    • 2
  1. 1.Laboratório de Fitoquímica, Faculdade de FarmáciaUniversidade Federal do Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil
  2. 2.Laboratório de Pesquisa em Parasitologia, Faculdade de FarmáciaUniversidade Federal do Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil

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