Journal of Parasitic Diseases

, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 1082–1086 | Cite as

In vitro anthelmintic assessment of selected phytochemicals against Hymenolepis diminuta, a zoonotic tapeworm

  • Vijaya
  • Arun K. YadavEmail author
Short Communication


A large number of medicinal plants are used as herbal remedy for the treatment of helminthic diseases in the developing countries, however, far too little attention has been paid to assess the anthelmintic potentials of chemical compounds that are present in these plants. This study was carried out to assess the in vitro anthelmintic effects of biochanin A, ursolic acid, betulinic acid and beta-sitosterol which are the major phytochemicals of Trifolium repens, Houttuynia cordata and Lasia spinosa, the traditionally used anthelmintic plants of Northeast India. The in vitro anthelmintic testing of these phytochemicals was undertaken against Hymenolepis diminuta, a zoonotic tapeworm, and their efficacy was compared with a reference drug, praziquantel. The results revealed that except beta-sitosterol, which showed a very weak anthelmintic effect, remaining all other tested compounds possess highly significant (p ≤ 0.001) and dose-dependent anthelmintic effects. Upon exposure to 0.25, 0.50 and 1 mg/ml concentrations of biochanin A, ursolic acid and betulinic acid, the test parasite H. diminuta, at first, showed a paralyzed state which later culminated into their mortality after short time periods. Of all the phytochemicals tested, betulinic acid (1 mg/ml) showed the best anthelmintic effect and caused the mortality of test parasites at 3.4 ± 0.66 h. In conclusion, the results of this study demonstrate for the first time that betulinic acid, biochanin A and ursolic acid possess significant in vitro anthelmintic effects against H. diminuta, a zoonotic tapeworm, and, therefore, these compounds may be exploited further for anthelmintic drug development.


Anthelmintics Beta-sitosterol Betulinic acid Biochanin A Hymenolepis diminuta Ursolic acid Phytochemicals 



Facilities for research work was provided by the Department of Zoology, NEHU, Shillong. Vijaya was recipient of a non-net fellowship from North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong.


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Copyright information

© Indian Society for Parasitology 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ZoologyNorth-Eastern Hill UniversityShillongIndia

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