EXPERIMENTAL PARASITOLOGY, cilt.135, ss.55-63, 2013
Leishmaniasis is a public health problem which is caused by protozoon parasites belonging to Leishmania species. The disease threatens approximately 350 million people in 98 countries all over the world. Cutaneous Leishmaniasis (CL) and Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL) are the mostly commonly seen forms of the disease. Treatment of the disease has remained insufficient since current antileishmanial drugs have several disadvantages such as toxicity, costliness and drug-resistance. Therefore, there is an immediate need to search for new antileishmanial compounds. TiO2@Ag nanoparticles (TiAg-Nps) have been demonstrated as promising antimicrobial agents since they provide inhibition of several types of bacteria. The basic antimicrobial mechanism of TiAg-Nps is the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Even though Leishmania parasites are sensitive to ROS, there is no study in literature indicating antileishmanial activities of TiAg-Nps. Herein, in this study, TiAg-Nps are shown to possess antileishmanial effects on Leishmania tropica and Leishmania infantum parasites by inhibiting their biological properties such as viability, metabolic activity, and survival within host cells both in the dark and under visible light. The results indicate that TiAg-Nps decreased viability values of L. tropica, and L. infantum promastigotes 3- and 10-fold, respectively, in the dark, while these rates diminished approximately 20-fold for each species in the presence of visible light, in contrast to control. On the other hand, non-visible light-exposed TiAg-Nps inhibited survival of amastigotes nearly 2- and 2.5-fold; while visible light-exposed TiAg-Nps inhibited 4- and 4.5-fold for L tropica and L. infantum parasites, respectively. Consequently, it was determined that non-visible light-exposed TiAg-Nps were more effective against L infantum parasites while visible light-exposed TiAg-Nps exhibited nearly the same antileishmanial effect against both species. Therefore, we think that a combination of TiAg-Nps and visible light can be further used for treatment of CL, while application of TiAg-Nps alone can be a promising alternative in VL treatment. (C) 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.