Published online by Cambridge University Press: 03 August 2020
This systematic review investigated the evidence for the therapeutic potential of essential oils (EOs) against Leishmania amazonensis. We searched available scientific publications from 2005 to 2019 in the PubMed and Web of Science electronic databases, according to PRISMA statement. The search strategy utilized descriptors and free terms. The EOs effect of 35 species of plants identified in this systematic review study, 45.7% had half of the maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) 10 < IC50 ⩽ 50 μg mL−1 and 14.3% had a 10 < IC50 μg mL−1 for promastigote forms of L. amazonensis. EOs from Cymbopogon citratus species had the lowest IC50 (1.7 μg mL−1). Among the plant species analyzed for activity against intracellular amastigote forms of L. amazonensis, 39.4% had an IC50 10 < IC50 ⩽ 50 μg mL−1, and 33.3% had an IC50 10 < IC50 μg mL−1. Aloysia gratissima EO showed the lowest IC50 (0.16 μg mL−1) for intracellular amastigotes. EOs of Chenopodium ambrosioides, Copaifera martii and Carapa guianensis, administered by the oral route, were effective in reducing parasitic load and lesion volume in L. amazonensis-infected BALB/c mice. EOs of Bixa orellana and C. ambrosioides were effective when administered intraperitoneally. Most of the studies analyzed in vitro and in vivo for the risk of bias showed moderate methodological quality. These results indicate a stimulus for the development of new phytotherapy drugs for leishmaniasis treatment.