Anti-Trichomonas vaginalis activity of chalcone and amino-analogues

  • Márcia Rodrigues Trein
  • Lígia Rodrigues e Oliveira
  • Graziela Vargas Rigo
  • Mayara Aparecida Rocha Garcia
  • Brenda Petro-Silveira
  • Danielle da Silva Trentin
  • Alexandre José Macedo
  • Luis Octávio Regasini
  • Tiana Tasca
Protozoology - Original Paper


Trichomoniasis is the most common non-viral sexually transmitted disease worldwide and can lead to serious consequences in reproductive health, cancer, and HIV acquisition. The current approved treatment present adverse effects and drug resistance data on this neglected parasitic infection is underestimated. Chalcones are a family of molecules that present biological applications, such as activity against many pathogenic organisms including protozoan pathogens. Chalcone (1) and three amino-analogues (24) were synthesized by Claisen–Schmidt condensation reaction and had their activity evaluated against the parasitic protozoan Trichomonas vaginalis. This bioassay indicated the presence and position of the amino group on ring A was crucial for anti-T. vaginalis activity. Among these, 3′-aminochalcone (3) presented the most potent effect and showed high cytotoxicity against human vaginal cells. On the other hand, 3 was not able to exhibit toxicity against Galleria mellonella larvae, as well as the hemolytic effect on human erythrocytes. Trophozoites of T. vaginalis were treated with 3, and did not present significant reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation, but induced a significantly higher ROS accumulation in human neutrophils after co-incubation. T. vaginalis pyruvate:ferredoxin oxidoreductase (PFOR) and β-tubulin gene expression was not affected by 3.


Trichomonas vaginalis Trichomoniasis Chalcone Antiprotozoal Antiparasitic 



Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq/Brazil), Marine Biotechnology Program (A.J.M., RedeMarAtivo, grant 408578/2013–0) and Universal Program (D.S.T., grant 443150/2014–1) supported this study. A.J.M., L.O.R, and T.T. thank CNPq for researcher fellowships (grants 303353/2016–3, 306251/2016–7, 312292/2017–1, respectively).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Márcia Rodrigues Trein
    • 1
  • Lígia Rodrigues e Oliveira
    • 2
  • Graziela Vargas Rigo
    • 1
  • Mayara Aparecida Rocha Garcia
    • 2
  • Brenda Petro-Silveira
    • 1
  • Danielle da Silva Trentin
    • 3
  • Alexandre José Macedo
    • 4
  • Luis Octávio Regasini
    • 2
  • Tiana Tasca
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratório de Pesquisa em Parasitologia, Faculdade de FarmáciaUniversidade Federal do Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil
  2. 2.Laboratory of Antibiotics and Chemotherapeutics, Institute of Biosciences, Humanities and Exact Sciences (Ibilce)São Paulo State University (Unesp)São José do Rio PretoBrazil
  3. 3.Departamento de Ciências Básicas da SaúdeUniversidade Federal de Ciências da Saúde de Porto AlegrePorto AlegreBrazil
  4. 4.Laboratório de Biofilmes e Diversidade Microbiana, Faculdade de FarmáciaUniversidade do Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil

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