Cutaneous leishmaniasis being a neglected tropical disease (NTD) faces several challenges in chemotherapy. If infected with secondary bacterial infections, the treatment regime of cutaneous ulcers in cutaneous leishmaniasis is further complicated which usually require two or more than two chemotherapeutic agents for healing. In the current study, seven curcumin-loaded self-emulsifying drug delivery system (cu-SEDDS) formulations (namely F1–F7) were prepared by mixing different excipients (oils, surfactants, and co-solvents) through stirring (vortex) and sonication. The formulations were characterized regarding their droplet size, polydispersity index (PDI), and zeta potential by zeta sizer. The cu-SEDDS formulations displayed different sizes ranging from 32.4 up to 80.0 nm. The zeta potential of the formulations ranged from − 1.56 up to − 4.8. The antileishmanial activities of the cu-SEDDS formulations in terms of IC50 against Leishmania tropica ranged from 0.19 up to 0.37 μg/ml. The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of these formulations against Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, and Klebsiella pneumoniae were in the range of 48–62 μg/ml. The hemolysis caused by formulations was 1–2%. The spreading potential of the formulations (F1 and F5) over damaged skin model was remarkable. These results suggest that cu-SEDDS further enhanced the broad spectrum antileishmanial and antibacterial profile of curcumin and could be used for the treatment of cutaneous leishmaniasis and its associated secondary infections.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
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