Intestinal infection caused by Giardia lamblia represents a serious public health problem, with increased rates of prevalence in numerous countries. Increased resistance of the parasite and the side-effects of the reference drugs employed in the treatment of giardiasis make necessary to seek new therapeutic agents. Natural products, especially of plant origin, represent excellent starting point for research. The objective of this study is to review the literature on plant extracts, fractions and chemical constituents whose giardicidal activity has been investigated in vitro. The review describes 153 (one hundred and fifty-three) plant species from 69 (sixty-nine) families that were evaluated for their giardicidal activity. The geographical distribution of the plant species, the part used, preparation, strain of Giardia lamblia tested and the results obtained by the authors are also given. One hundred and one compounds isolated from plant species, classified by chemical class, are presented. Recent aspects of research on natural products of plant origin employed in the treatment of giardiasis are also discussed.
Giardia lamblia; giardicidal activity; natural products; medicinal plants; review