Parasitology



Intake of nutrient supplements affects multiplication of Leishmania donovani in hamsters


RAVENDRA GARG a1, NIRPENDRA SINGH a1 and ANURADHA DUBE a1c1
a1 Division of Parasitology, Central Drug Research Institute, PO Box 173, Lucknow – 226001, India

Article author query
garg r   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
singh n   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
dube a   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 

Abstract

The role of the essential nutrients, vitamins A,B (complex), C and E and iron, as prophylactic as well as supportive therapy in experimental visceral leishmaniasis (VL), was studied in hamsters. Prophylactic administration of vitamin C (50, 100 and 250 mg/kg) from day15 to day 0 (15 doses) significantly reduced the intake of Leishmania donovani in hamsters but had no therapeutic effect. In contrast, vitamins A,B complex and E and iron, whether used prophylactically or therapeutically, promoted parasite multiplication. The efficacy of sodium stibogluconate, a reference antileishmanial drug, was appreciably improved in animals administered prophylactically with vitamin C. However, supplementation of vitamin C during established infections resulted in reduced drug action. The results show that the prophylactic use of vitamin C may prevent the onset of leishmania infection and cautions against the indiscriminate use of nutrient supplements such as vitamin A, B complex, and E and iron in VL endemic areas.

(Received February 15 2004)
(Revised May 4 2004)
(Accepted May 7 2004)


Key Words: Leishmania donovani; hamster; vitamin A; vitamin B complex; vitamin C; vitamin E; iron; sodium stibogluconate.

Correspondence:
c1 Division of Parasitology, Central Drug Research Institute, PO Box 173, Lucknow – 226001, India. Tel: +91 0522 212411 212418. Ext. 4398. Fax: +91 0522 223405/223938. E-mail: anuradha_dube@hotmail.com/anuradha_dube@rediffmail.com


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