Comparative Clinical Pathology

, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 143–150 | Cite as

Lethal effects of gold nanoparticles on protoscolices of hydatid cyst: in vitro study

  • Sara Napooni
  • Mohsen ArbabiEmail author
  • Mahdi Delavari
  • Hossein Hooshyar
  • Sima Rasti
Original Article


Recurrence of hydatidosis may results from cyst fluid spillage during surgery. To inactivate the cyst content, different scolicidal agents have been introduced. Nevertheless, novel and more effective treatments are needed due to the associated complications. In the current study, we examined the scolicidal effects of gold nanoparticles on Echinococcus granulosus protoscoleces. Hydatid cysts of sheep liver were collected in this study. The cyst fluid containing protoscoleces was aspirated aseptically. The protoscoleces were exposed to gold nanoparticles at different concentrations (250, 500, 1000, 2000, and 4000 μg/mL). Eosin staining method was applied to determine the viability of protoscoleces at 5, 10, 20, 30, and 60 min. Moreover, cytotoxicity analysis, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) of ultrastructural changes, DNA fragmentation, were performed, and protoscoleces were studied following treatment. The significant scolicidal effects of gold nanoparticles were observed at all concentrations compared to the control group. A total of 4000 μg/mL of gold nanoparticles could destroy 76% of protoscoleces in 60 min. Cytotoxic effects of gold nanoparticle on J774 macrophage cell line, in minimum and maximum concentration (500 and 4000 μg/mL), were 1 and 11%, respectively. After treatment of protoscoleces with gold nanoparticles in different times and concentrations, considerable alteration in size, ultrastructure changes in tegument and shape of sucker, as well as DNA fragmentation of parasite were seen. Based on the results, gold nanoparticles could exert scolicidal effects on hydatid cyst protoscoleces; therefore, they can be applied in hydatid cyst treatment.


Cystic hydatid disease Gold nanoparticles Scolicidal Cytotoxicity Ultrastructure 



The Vice Chancellor for Research of Kashan University of Medical Sciences, Kashan, Iran granted this study (project No. 94150). This research is a part of Msc thesis.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical considerations

Ethical issues have been completely observed by the authors. All procedures performed in this study were done according to the local ethics review committee of Kashan University of Medical Sciences that approved this work.

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medical Parasitology, Faculty of MedicineKashan University of Medical SciencesKashanIran

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