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Neospora caninum is considered to be the main cause of bovine abortion in Europe and the USA, leading to considerable financial impact. Losses are caused directly by abortions or indirectly through breeding of calves with impaired viability. Due to the lack of effective chemotherapy against bovine neosporosis, there is a need to develop new anti-protozoal compounds, which would either eliminate the parasite or avoid its transmission. In order to identify compounds of interest, the in vitro activities of 41 di-cationic pentamidine derivatives were studied employing a transgenic N. caninum clone expressing beta-galactosidase as a reporter gene. The arylimidamide DB745, previously shown to be highly active against Leishmania donovani in vitro and in vivo, appeared as the most promising compound, with an IC50 of 80 nM in 3-day growth assays and severely affecting both host cell invasion as well as intracellular proliferation. TEM of intracellular tachyzoites identified distinct alterations related to the nucleolus and the nuclear and cellular membrane. Long-term growth assays showed that DB745 acted parasiticidal upon the Nc-Liv isolate, but not against the Nc-1 isolate of N. caninum. In vivo studies in N. caninum (Nc-1 isolate) infected mice showed that daily intraperitoneal application of DB745 for a period of 14 days resulted in a decreased number of clinically affected animals, and lower cerebral parasite burdens in DB745-treated mice compared to non-treated mice. These results illustrate the potential of dicationic arylimidamides for the treatment of N. caninum infections.


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Int J Parasitol Drugs Drug Resist, 2 109-20. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpddr.2012.03.001

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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