Chagas disease is caused by Trypanosoma cruzi, and is considered a public health problem. The current treatments for this disease are the synthetic drugs nifurtimox and benzonidazol, which are highly toxic. Pityrogramma calomelanos, a plant used in traditional medicine as an astringent, analgesic, anti-hemorrhagic, pectoral depurative, emmenagogue, anti-hypertensive, anti-pyretic and an anti-tussive was tested for antiepimastigote activity in vitro. An ethanol extract and hexane fraction of P. calomelanos was prepared and tested against T. cruzi (CL-B5 clone). The effective concentration capable of killing 50% of parasites (EC50) was 55.26 µg/mL and 73.57 µg/mL for the ethanol extract and hexane fraction, respectively. This is the first record of tripanocidal activity for P. calomelanos. Our results indicate that P. calomelanos could be a source of antiepimastigote natural products with only moderate toxicity toward healthy human cells.
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Vol. 102 • No. 3