Stephane L. Ngahang Kamte 1 , Farahnaz Ranjbarian 2 , Gustavo Daniel Campagnaro 3 , Prosper C. Biapa Nya 4 , Hélène Mbuntcha 4 , 5 , Verlaine Woguem 4 , 5 , Hilaire Macaire Womeni 4 , 5 , Léon Azefack Tapondjou 5 , Cristiano Giordani 6 , Luciano Barboni 7 , Giovanni Benelli 8 , Loredana Cappellacci 1 , Anders Hofer 2 , Riccardo Petrelli 1 , * , Filippo Maggi 1
06 July 2017
Essential oils are complex mixtures of volatile components produced by the plant secondary metabolism and consist mainly of monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes and, to a minor extent, of aromatic and aliphatic compounds. They are exploited in several fields such as perfumery, food, pharmaceutics, and cosmetics. Essential oils have long-standing uses in the treatment of infectious diseases and parasitosis in humans and animals. In this regard, their therapeutic potential against human African trypanosomiasis (HAT) has not been fully explored. In the present work, we have selected six medicinal and aromatic plants ( Azadirachta indica, Aframomum melegueta, Aframomum daniellii, Clausena anisata, Dichrostachys cinerea, and Echinops giganteus) traditionally used in Cameroon to treat several disorders, including infections and parasitic diseases, and evaluated the activity of their essential oils against Trypanosma brucei TC221. Their selectivity was also determined with Balb/3T3 (mouse embryonic fibroblast cell line) cells as a reference. The results showed that the essential oils from A. indica, A. daniellii, and E. giganteus were the most active ones, with half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC 50) values of 15.21, 7.65, and 10.50 µg/mL, respectively. These essential oils were characterized by different chemical compounds such as sesquiterpene hydrocarbons, monoterpene hydrocarbons, and oxygenated sesquiterpenes. Some of their main components were assayed as well on T. brucei TC221, and their effects were linked to those of essential oils.