Parasitology Research

, Volume 101, Issue 2, pp 317–324 | Cite as

Antileishmanial potential of a marine sponge, Haliclona exigua (Kirkpatrick) against experimental visceral leishmaniasis

  • Anuradha Dube
  • Nasib Singh
  • A. Saxena
  • V. LakshmiEmail author
Original Paper


In this study, we are reporting antileishmanial activity of a marine sponge Haliclona exigua, belonging to phylum Porifera. The crude methanol extract and its three fractions were tested both in vitro and in vivo. The crude extract exerted almost complete inhibition of promastigotes at 50 μg/ml and 76.4 ± 6.5% inhibition of intracellular amastigotes at 100 μg/ml concentration with IC50 values of 18.6 μg/ml and 47.2 μg/ml, respectively. When administered to Leishmania donovani infected hamsters at a dose of 500 mg/kg × 5, p.o., it resulted in 72.2 ± 10.4% inhibition of intracellular amastigotes. At a lower dose (250 mg/kg), it exhibited 43.9 ± 5.1% inhibition. Among the fractions, highest antileishmanial activity both in vitro (>90%) and in vivo (60.9 ± 18.3%) was observed in n-butanol (soluble) fraction with IC50 values of 8.2 μg/ml and 31.2 μg/ml against promastigotes and intracellular amastigotes, respectively. Hexane fraction also showed comparatively good activity against both the stages of parasites in vitro but was moderately active in leishmania-infected hamsters. Chloroform fraction resulted in 45 ± 10.2% inhibition in vivo at a dose of 500 mg/kg × 5, p.o., whereas it was inactive in vitro. n-Butanol (insoluble) fraction was inactive both in vitro and in vivo. Araguspongin C, an alkaloid isolated from n-butanol (soluble) fraction exhibited moderate inhibition of promastigotes and intracellular amastigotes at 100 μg/ml but showed weak antileishmanial action in vivo. Our findings indicate that this marine sponge has the potential to provide new lead toward development of an effective antileishmanial agent and, hence, calls for more exhaustive studies for exploiting the vast world of marine resources to combat the scourge of several parasitic diseases.


Methanol Extract Visceral Leishmaniasis Leishmaniasis Marine Sponge Cutaneous Leishmaniasis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The work was supported by the Department of Ocean Development, New Delhi, India. Our kind thanks are due to the Director of CDRI for encouragement and to Shri H. R. Mishra and Shri N. P. Mishra for technical assistance. The financial assistance in the form of fellowship by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (NS) and CDRI (AS) is gratefully acknowledged. This is CDRI communication no. 6899.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anuradha Dube
    • 1
  • Nasib Singh
    • 1
  • A. Saxena
    • 2
  • V. Lakshmi
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Division of ParasitologyCentral Drug Research InstituteLucknowIndia
  2. 2.Division of Medicinal and Process ChemistryCentral Drug Research InstituteLucknowIndia

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