Leishmaniasis, an endemic parasitosis that leads to chronic cutaneous, mucocutaneous or visceral lesions, is part of those diseases, which still requires improved control tools. Propolis has shown activities against different bacteria, fungi, and parasites. In this study we investigated the effect of four ethanolic extracts of typified propolis collected in different Brazilian states, on Leishmania amazonensis
performing assays with promastigote forms, extracellular amastigotes, and on infected peritoneal macrophages. Ethanolic extracts of all propolis samples (BRG, BRPG, BRP-1, and BRV) were capable to reduce parasite load as monitored by the percentage of infected macrophages and the number of intracellular parasites. BRV sample called red propolis, collected in the state of Alagoas, and containing high concentration of prenylated and benzophenones compounds, was the most active extract against L. amazonensis
. The anti-Leishmania
effect of BRV sample was increased in a concentration and time dependent manner. BRV treatment proved to be non-toxic to macrophage cultures. Since BRV extract at the concentration of 25 mg/ml reduced the parasite load of macrophages while presented no direct toxic to promastigotes and extracellular amastigotes, it was suggested that constituents of propolis intensify the mechanism of macrophage activation leading to killing of L. amazonensis
. Our results demonstrate, for the first time, that ethanolic extracts of Brazilian propolis reduce L. amazonensis
infection in macrophages, and encourage further studies of this natural compound in animal models of leishmaniasis.