Toxic and therapeutic effects of Nifurtimox and Benznidazol on Trypanosoma cruzi ex vivo infection of human placental chorionic villi explants
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Nifurtimox (Nfx) and Benznidazole (Bnz) are the only available drugs in use for the treatment of Chagas disease. These drugs are recommended but not fully validated in evidence-based medicine and reports about the differential toxicity of both drugs are controversial. Here, we evaluated the toxic and therapeutic effects of Nfx and Bnz on human placental chorionic villi explants (HPCVE) during ex vivo infection of Trypanosoma cruzi, performing histopathological, histochemical, immunohistochemical as well as immunofluorescence analysis of the tissue. Additionally, we determined the effect of both drugs on parasite load by real time PCR. Bnz prevents the parasite induced tissue damage in ex vivo infected HPCVE compared to Nfx, which is toxic per se. The presence of T. cruzi antigens and DNA in infected explants suggests that these drugs do not impair parasite invasion into the HPCVE. Additionally, our results confirm reports suggesting that Bnz is less toxic than Nfx and support the need for the development of more effective and better-tolerated drugs.
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