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In vitro anthelmintic activity of the essential oils of Zanthoxylum zanthoxyloides and Newbouldia laevis against Strongyloides ratti


The need for new anthelmintic with no chemical residues is becoming urgent. In a program aiming at the evaluation of plant as sources of new active molecules, the anthelmintic activities of the essential oils (EOs) obtained from either Zanthoxylum zanthoxyloides seeds or Newbouldia laevis leaves were evaluated against Strongyloides ratti by analyzing the results of two in vitro bioassays. These two plants and their tested parts were retained after an ethnopharmacology survey that confirmed their use by small-scale farmers for treatment of small ruminants affected by digestive helminths. The plants were harvested in Benin, and their EO were obtained by hydrodistillation. The EO yield of extraction was 0.65% (w/w) of for Z. zanthoxyloides seeds and 0.05% (w/w) for N. laevis. The chemical compositions of the two EOs were analyzed by gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry. The major constituents of the EO from Z. zanthoxyloides consisted of the following compounds: γ-terpinene (18 %), undecane (15 %), valencene (8.3 %), decanal (8.3 %), and 3-carene (6.7 %). In contrast, the major constituents of the EO from N. laevis leaves consisted of the following compounds: β-caryophyllene (36 %) and eugenol (5.8 %). An egg-hatching inhibition (EHI) assay was developed and a larval migration inhibition assay was used on S. ratti to examine the effects of the EOs and to evidence their inhibitory concentrations (IC50 and IC90) values on this nematode. Furthermore, the toxicity of the two EOs on Vero cell line was evaluated. When tested on S. ratti egg hatching, the two EOs resulted in similar IC50 values (19.5 and 18.2 μg/ml for Z. zanthoxyloides and N. laevis, respectively), which were about sevenfold higher than that of the control (thiabendazole, IC50 = 2.5 μg/ml). Larval migration was inhibited at similar concentrations for: Z. zanthoxyloides (IC50 = 46 μg/ml), N. laevis (IC50 = 51 μg/ml), and the control [levamisole (IC50 = 36 μg/ml)]. No cytotoxicity was found on Vero cells because both EOs had IC50 values higher than 50 μg/ml. Therefore, we have concluded that the EOs from two plants, used in folk medicine, may contain compounds with anthelmintic activity and could be used as improved traditional medicines or, at least, as food additives in a combined treatment for the control of helminth infections.

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This work was supported by the CORUS project no. 6040. Mr. A.P. Olounlade acknowledges receiving a scholarship from AUF to undergo his PhD studies. Mr. E.V. Azando is a grateful recipient of a grant provided from ARHES.

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Correspondence to A. Valentin.

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Olounladé, P.A., Azando, E.V.B., Hounzangbé-Adoté, M.S. et al. In vitro anthelmintic activity of the essential oils of Zanthoxylum zanthoxyloides and Newbouldia laevis against Strongyloides ratti . Parasitol Res 110, 1427–1433 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00436-011-2645-4

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  • Eugenol
  • Levamisole
  • Helminth Infection
  • Thiabendazole
  • Anthelmintic Activity