Orally administered allopurinol at 50 mg/kg for 21 days showed pronounced antileishmanial activity against experimentally induced lesions of Leishmania braziliensis panamensis on the nose of Panamanian Aotus trivirgatus monkeys, with complete healing in 4 of 5, although parasitologic cure was achieved in only 2 of 5. The same total daily dose of drug, given in a divided dose twice daily, resulted in complete healing in all 5, and parasitologic cure in 4 of 5 animals. Standard treatment controls receiving 40 mg/kg of antimony stibogluconate intramuscularly for 15 days showed healing in 4 of 5 monkeys. It is not known if a similar level of effectiveness would result with this dose of allopurinol in humans, since Aotus may have a different pattern of metabolic conversion of the drug to the more active riboside.
Pan American Health Organization/Adjunct Associate Gorgas Memorial Laboratory. Present address: Trypanosomiases and Leishmaniases, Parasitic Diseases Programme, World Health Organization, 1211 Geneva 27, Switzerland.
Present address: Infectious Disease Branch, National Institute of Neurologic and Communicative Disorders and Stroke, National Institutes of Health, USDHHS, Bethesda, Maryland 20205.