<em>IN</em> <em>VITRO</em> ANTI-LEISMANIAL ACTIVITY OF MALAYSIAN MEDICINAL AND FOREST PLANT SPECIES
Keywords:Methanolic extract, Leishmaniasis, promastigote, Leishmania major, Swietenia macrophylla
Leishmaniasis causes major concern around the world as the number of affected patients continues to increase. The available commercial drugs to treat this disease either come with severe side effects or had shown resistance. The current study aims natural products from Malaysian plant species which may be effective against the most prevalent form of leishmania disease, cutaneous leishmaniasis. A total of 106 plant species were collected from two forest reserves in Negeri Sembilan and also purchased from the local market. Methanolic extract samples of plant stem, leaf, seed and/or root were tested for in vitro anti-leishmanial activity using promastigote of Leishmania major as the test organism. Extracts from three plant species showed strong in vitro anti-leishmanial activity: Iguanura geonomiformis (IC50 = 14.66 ± 0.10 μg mL-1; selectivity index (SI) 10.24, Anisophyllea disticha (IC50 = 16.53 ± 0.17 μg mL-1; SI = 11.45) and Swietenia macrophylla (IC50 = 17 ± 0.07 μg mL-1; SI >12). Amphotericin B was used as a positive control drug (IC50 = 0.528 μM). Results from this study indicated that seed extracts of Swietenia macrophylla showed promising anti-leishmanial activity and warrants further studies to identify the potential bioactive compound as an anti-leishmanial agent.