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Open Access Research article

Spermicidal and anti-Trichomonas vaginalis activity of Brazilian Sapindus saponaria

Edilson Damke1, Joyce K Tsuzuki2, Francieli Chassot1, Diógenes AG Cortez2, Izabel CP Ferreira2, Cristiane SS Mesquita3, Vânia RS da-Silva1, Terezinha IE Svidzinski3 and Márcia EL Consolaro1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Clinical Analysis and Biomedicine, Division of Clinical Cytology, State University of Maringá, Maringá, Paraná 4860, Brazil

2 Department of Pharmacy, State University of Maringá, Maringá, Paraná, Brazil

3 Department of Clinical Analysis and Biomedicine, Division of Medical Mycology, State University of Maringá, Maringá, Paraná, Brazil

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013, 13:196  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-13-196

Published: 28 July 2013

Abstract

Background

Sapindus saponaria is used traditionally for curing ulcers, external wounds and inflammations. The spermicidal and anti-Trichomonas activity of S. saponaria and its effect on Lactobacillus acidophilus were evaluated.

Methods

Water-ethanol (WE) and butanolic (BE) extracts, as well as a purified sample of saponins (SP) from S. saponaria were tested for spermicidal and anti-Trichomonas activity and for their effect on L. acidophilus.

Results

WE, BE and SP immobilized spermatozoa at a minimum effective concentration (MEC) of 2.5 (gram %) for extracts and 1.25 (gram %) for SP. The effective concentrations that caused 50% immobilization of spermatozoa (EC50) were 0.5 (gram %) for WE and SP, and 0.1 (gram %) for BE. The compounds were effective against Trichomonas vaginalis (Minimum Inhibitory Concentration = 0.156 mg/mL for WE and BE, and 0.078 mg/mL for SP against a clinical strain (CS); and 0.312, 0.156 and 0.078 mg/mL for WE, BE and SP, respectively, against an ATCC strain). In all concentrations tested, the growth of L. acidophilus was not reduced.

Conclusion

The in vitro study proved the spermicidal and anti-Trichomonas activity of S. saponaria. Complementary in vivo studies should be made for establish the use as a vaginal spermicide, particularly in Brazil and Latin America.

Keywords:
Sapindus saponaria; Saponins; Spermicidal; Anti-Trichomonas vaginalis activity; Contraceptive