Parasitology Research

, Volume 117, Issue 2, pp 597–602 | Cite as

Lactobacillus rhamnosus reduces parasite load on Toxocara canis experimental infection in mice, but has no effect on the parasite in vitro

  • Débora Liliane Walcher
  • Luis Augusto Xavier Cruz
  • Paula de Lima Telmo
  • Lourdes Helena Rodrigues Martins
  • Luciana Farias da Costa de Avila
  • Maria Elisabeth Aires Berne
  • Carlos James Scaini
Short Communication


Human toxocariasis is a neglected global parasitic zoonosis. The efficacy of drug treatment for this disease has been hindered by the biological complexity of the main etiological agent, the nematode Toxocara canis. Experimental studies have shown the potential of probiotics to promote a reduction in the parasite load of T. canis larvae. This study aimed to evaluate the effect of probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus ATCC 7469 on the parasite load of BALB/c mice with acute toxocariasis and evaluate the direct effect of this probiotic on T. canis larvae in vitro. In vivo administration of probiotics reduced the parasite load of T. canis larvae by 53.3% (p = 0.0018) during the early stage of infection in mice. However, when analyzed in vitro, it was observed that the probiotic did not present a deleterious effect on the larvae, as approximately 90% of these remained viable. These results demonstrate the potential of the probiotic L. rhamnosus in the reduction of T. canis larvae in BALB/c mice and suggest it could be used as an alternative means for the controlling of visceral toxocariasis. However, further studies are required to elucidate the mechanisms of action promoted by this probiotic.


Visceral larva migrans Control Infection intensity Probiotic Lactobacillus rhamnosus 



We wish to thank the Post-Graduate Program in Parasitology, Universidade Federal de Pelotas (UFPel), the Parasitology Laboratory - Academic Area of the University Hospital – FURG, and the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES) for scholarship grant for studies.

Compliance with ethical standards

This study was approved by the Ethics Committee on Animal Use of the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande (Report No. 032/2014).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Research involving human participants and/or animals—statement on the welfare of animals

“All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed.”

“All procedures performed in studies involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution or practice at which the studies were conducted.”

“This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.”


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Débora Liliane Walcher
    • 1
    • 2
  • Luis Augusto Xavier Cruz
    • 3
  • Paula de Lima Telmo
    • 4
  • Lourdes Helena Rodrigues Martins
    • 4
  • Luciana Farias da Costa de Avila
    • 3
  • Maria Elisabeth Aires Berne
    • 1
  • Carlos James Scaini
    • 3
  1. 1.Post-Graduate Program in Parasitology, Department of Microbiology and ParasitologyUniversidade Federal de Pelotas (UFPel)PelotasBrazil
  2. 2.Laboratory Parasitology - Universidade Federal do Rio GrandeRio GrandeBrazil
  3. 3.Post-Graduate Program in Health Sciences – Parasitology LaboratoryUniversidade Federal do Rio Grande (FURG), Academic Area of the University Hospital – FURGRio GrandeBrazil
  4. 4.Parasitology LaboratoryUniversidade Federal do Rio Grande (FURG), Academic Area of the University Hospital – FURGRio GrandeBrazil

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