Antileishmanial Activity of Liposomal Clarithromycin against Leishmania Major Promastigotes


1 Department and Research Centre of Medical Physics, Avicenna Research Institute, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences.

2 Dermatology, Research Centre for Cutaneous Leishmaniasis, Qaem Hospital, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

3 Department of Medicinal Chemistry. Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

4 Parasitology, Emam Reza Hospital, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

5 Dermatology, Research Centre for Cutaneous Leishmaniasis, Emam Reza Hospital, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran

6 Department and of Pharmaceutical Control, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran


Cutaneous leishmaniasis is a common parasitic disease which is endemic in some parts of the world. In vitro and in vivo studies have shown azithromycin efficacy on some Leishmania species. Because of structural similarity between clarithromycin and azithromycin and efficacy of clarithromycin against intracellular organisms and due to the absence of previous studies in this respect, we decided to evaluate the efficacy of clarithromycin against promastigotes of L. major in vitro.
Materials and Method
First, liposomal and non- liposomal clarithromycin were prepared, then both forms of the drug were incubated with promastigotes for 24 hr in NNN culture media without red phenol in the presence of 5% FCS with different concentrations as follows: 20, 40, 80, 100, 200 and 500 μg/ml.
According to the results, clarithromycin in both liposomal and non- liposomal forms has in vitro activity against the promastigotes of L. major. The concentration of drug that killed 50% of parasites (ED 50) was 169 and 253.6 μg/ml for liposomal and non- liposomal forms, respectively which shows that lower concentrations of liposomal drug are required to have the same effect as non- liposomal drug and the liposomal form of the drug is more effective than non- liposomal form.
Clarithromycin in both liposomal and non- liposomal forms has in vitro activity against the promastigotes of L. major.


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