Journal of Parasitic Diseases

, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 707–713 | Cite as

Effect of Nigella sativa alcoholic extract and oil, as well as Phaseolus vulgaris (kidney bean) lectin on the ultrastructure of Trichomonas vaginalis trophozoites

  • Heba AbdelKader AminouEmail author
  • Yosra Hussein Alam-Eldin
  • Hanan Ahmed Hashem
Original Article


Trichomonas vaginalis is a parasitic protozoan that is the aetiological agent of trichomoniasis, the most common non-viral sexually transmitted disease worldwide. Currently, the compound of choice for the treatment of T. vaginalis infections is metronidazole, however, it has many side effects and an increase in metronidazole-resistant trichomoniasis has been observed. Medicinal plants could be a source of new antiprotozoal drugs with high activity, low toxicity and lower price. The present work was carried out to investigate the therapeutic potential of Nigella sativa alcoholic extract and oil, as well as Phaseolus vulgaris (kidney bean) lectin and their in vitro activity on the ultrastructure of T. vaginalis trophozoites in comparison to metronidazole, as detected by transmission electron microscope. Both N. sativa oil and P. vulgaris lectin showed high toxic effect as evidenced by severe cell damage with cytoplasmic and nuclear destruction, while the effect of N. sativa alcoholic extract was moderate. Therefore, these two extracts could offer an effective, cheaper and more safe alternative for metronidazole in treatment of trichomoniasis.


Trichomonas vaginalis Nigella sativa extracts Phaseolus vulgaris lectin Transmission electron microscope 


  1. Abdulelah H, Zainal-Abidin B (2007) In vivo anti-malarial tests of Nigella sativa (Black Seed) different extracts. Am J Pharmacol Toxicol 2(2):46–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Abu El Ezz NM (2005) Effect of Nigella sativa and Allium cepa oils on Trichinella spiralis in experimentally infected rats. J Egypt Soc Parasitol 35(2):511–523PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Ali BH, Blunden G (2003) Pharmacological and toxicological properties of Nigella sativa. Phytother Res 17(4):299–305CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Alizadeh H, Silvany RE, Meyer DR, Dougherty JM, McCulley JP (1997) In vitro amoebicidal activity of propamidine and pentamidine isethionate against Acanthamoeba species and toxicity to corneal tissues. Cornea 16:94–100CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Ayaz E, Yilmaz H, Ozbek H, Tas Z, Orunc O (2007) The effect of Nigella sativa oil against Aspiculuris tetraptera and Hymenolepis nana in naturally infected mice. Saudi Med J 28(11):1654–1657PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Barrientos LG, Gro—nenborn AM (2005) The highly specific carbohydrate—binding protein cyanovirin-N: structure, anti-HIV/Ebola activity and possibilities for therapy. Med Chem 5(1):21–31Google Scholar
  7. Bishara SA, Masoud SI (1992) Effect of Nigella sativa extract on experimental giardiasis. The New Egypt J Med 7:1–3Google Scholar
  8. Bradford MM (1974) A rapid and sensitive method for the quantification of microgram quantities of proteins utilizing the principle of protein-dye binding. Anal Biochem 72:248–254CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Brinda KV, Surolia A, Vishveshwara S (2005) Insights into the quaternary association of proteins through structure graphs: a case study of lectins. Biochem J 391(1):1–15CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  10. Cedillo-Rivera R, Chávez B, González-Robles A, Tapia A, Yépez-Mulia L (2002) In vitro effect of nitazoxanide against Entamoeba histolytica, Giardia intestinalis and Trichomonas vaginalis trophozoites. J Eukaryot Microbiol 49(3):201–208CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Cheesbrough M (1998) Parasitological tests. In: CheesbroughM (ed) District laboratory practice in tropical countries Part 1. Cambridge Low Price Editions, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 178–310Google Scholar
  12. Diamond LS (1957) The establishment of various trichomonads of animals and man in axenic cultures. J Parasitol 43:488–490CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Durel P, Couture J, Collart P, Girot C (1960) Flagyl (metronidazole). Br J Vener Dis 36:154–162PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  14. Edris AE (2011) The chemical composition and the content of volatile oil: potential factors that can contribute to the oxidative stability of Nigella sativa L. crude oil. J Diet Suppl 8(1):34–42CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. El Wakil HS (2007) Evaluation of the in vitro effect of Nigella sativa aqueous extract on Blastocystis hominis isolates. J Egypt Soc Parasitol 37(3):801–813PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Endriga MA, Mojica EE, Merca FE, Lacsamana MS, Deocaris CC (2005) Evaluation of some lectins as anti-protozoal agents. J Med Sci 5:31–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Fernando C, Lilian Y, Amparo T (2007) Effect of Mexican medicinal plant used to treat trichomoniasis on Trichomonas vaginalis trophozoites. J Ethnopharmacol 113:248–251CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Giordani RB, De Almeida MV, Fernandes E, França da Costa C, De Carli GA, Tasca T, Zuanazzi JA (2008) Anti-Trichomonas vaginalis activity of synthetic lipophilic diamine and amino alcohol derivatives. Biomed Pharmacother 63(8):613–617CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Hou Y, Hou Y, Yanyan L, Qin G, Li J (2010) Extraction and purification of a lectin from red kidney bean and preliminary immune function studies of the lectin and four Chinese herbal polysaccharides. J Biomed Biotechnol. doi: 10.1155/2010/217342 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  20. Houcher Z, Boudiaf K, Benboubetra M, Houcher B (2007) Effects of methanolic extract and commercial oil of Nigella sativa on blood glucose and antioxidant capacity in alloxan-induced diabetic rats. Pteridines 18:8–18Google Scholar
  21. Issa RM (2003) Using Nigella sativa (Habbet El baraka) in treatment of some parasitic diseases. Egypt J Med Sci 24:435–446Google Scholar
  22. Johnston VJ, Mabey DC (2008) Global epidemiology and control of Trichomonas vaginalis. Curr Opin Infect Dis 21:56–64CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Khan MA, Ashfaq MK, Zuberi HS, Mhmood MS, Gilani AH (2003) The in vivo antifungal activity of the aqueous extract from Nigella sativa seeds. Phytother Res 17(2):183–186CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Li J, Wu H, Hong J, Xu X, Yang H, Wu B, Wang Y, Zhu J, Lai R, Jiang X, Lin D, Mark C, Rees HH (2008) Odorranalectin is a small peptide lectin with potential for drug delivery and targeting. PLoS ONE. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0002381 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  25. Lossick JG, M¨uller M, Gorrell TE (1986) In vitro drug susceptibility and doses of metronidazole required for cure in cases of refractory vaginal trichomoniasis. J Infect Dis 153:948–955CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Mahmoud MR, El-Abhar HS, Saleh S (2002) The effect of Nigella sativa oil against the liver damage induced by Schistosoma mansoni infection in mice. J Ethnopharmacol 79:1–11CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Mundodi V, Kucknoor AS, Chang TH, Alderete JF (2006) A novel surface protein of Trichomonas vaginalis is regulated independently by low iron and contact with vaginal epithelial cells. BMC Microbiol 6(1):6CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  28. Nanda N, Michel RG, Kurdgelashvili G, Wendel KA (2006) Trichomoniasis and its treatment. Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther 4:125–135CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Pan CY, Chen JY, Lin TL, Lin CH (2009) In vitro activities of three synthetic peptides derived from epinecidin-1 and an anti-lipopolysaccharide factor against Propionibacterium acnes, Candida albicans, and Trichomonas vaginalis. Peptides 30(6):1058–1068CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Petrin D, Delgaty K, Bhatt R, Garber G (1998) Clinical and microbiological aspects of Trichomonas vaginalis. Clin Microbiol Rev 11:300–317CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  31. Ramadan MF, Mörsel JT (2002) Characterization of phospholipid composition of black cumin (Nigella sativa L.) seed oil. Nahrung 46(4):240–244CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Randhawa MA, Al-Ghamdi MJ (2002) A review of pharmacotherapeutic effects of Nigella sativa. Pak J Med Res 41(2):77–83Google Scholar
  33. Rios-de Alvarez L, Jackson F, Greer A, Bartley Y, Bartley D, Grant G, Huntley J (2012a) In vitro screening of plant lectins and tropical plant extracts for anthelminthic properties. Vet Parasitol 186(3–4):390–398CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Rios-de Alvarez L, Jackson F, Greer A, Grant G, Jackson E, Morrison A, Huntley J (2012b) Direct anthelminthic and immunostimulatory effects of oral dosing semi-purified phytohaemagglutinin lectin in sheep infected with Teladorsagia circumcincta and Trichostrongylus colubriformis. Vet Parasitol 187(1–2):267–274CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Rosa IA, Rochal DA, Souza W, Urbina JA, Benchimol M (2011) Ultrastructural alterations induced by D 24 (25)-sterol methyltransferase inhibitors on Trichomonas vaginalis. FEMS Microbiol Lett 315:72–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Roussel F, De Carli G, Brasseur P (1991) A cytopathic effect of Trichomonas vaginalis probably mediated by a mannose/N-acetyl-glucosamine binding lectin. Int J Parasitol 21(8):941–944CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Salem ML (2005) Immunomodulatory and therapeutic properties of the Nigella sativa L. seed. Int Immunopharmacol 5:1749–1770CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Schwebke JR, Burgess D (2004) Trichomoniasis. Clin Microbiol Rev 17:794–803CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  39. Shalaby HA, El-Moghazy FM (2013) In vitro effect of Nigella sativa oil on adult Toxocara vitulorum. Pak J Biol Sci 16(22):1557–1562CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Sharma A, Ng TB, Wong JH, Lin P (2009) Purification and characterization of a lectin from Phaseolus vulgaris cv. (Anasazi Beans). J Biomed Biotechnol. doi:  10.1155/2009/929568 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Sharon N (1996) Carbohydrate–lectin interactions in infectious diseases. Adv Exp Med Biol 408:1–8CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. Sutcliffe S, Alderete JF, Till C, Goodman PJ, Hsing AW, Zenilman JM, De Marzo AM, Platz EA (2009) Trichomonosis and subsequent risk of prostate cancer in the prostate cancer prevention trial. Int J Cancer 124:2082–2087CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  43. Tagboto S, Townson S (2001) Antiparasitic properties of medicinal plants and other naturally occurring products. Adv Parasitol 50:199–295CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Warton A, Honnigberg B (1979) Structure of Trichomonads as revealed by scanning electron microscopy. J Protozool 26:56–62CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. World Health Organization (1995) Metronidazole. In: Drugs used in parasitic diseases. WHO, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  46. World Health Organization (2001) Global prevalence and incidence of selected curable sexually transmitted infections: Overview and estimates, Geneva, Switzerland. Document:WHO/HIV_AIDS/2001.02,WHO/CDS/CSR/EDC/2001.10Google Scholar
  47. Zaoui A, Cherrah Y, Mahassini N, Alaoui K, Amarouch H, Hassar M (2002) Acute and chronic toxicity of Nigella sativa fixed oil. Phytomedicine 9:69–74CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Indian Society for Parasitology 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heba AbdelKader Aminou
    • 1
    Email author
  • Yosra Hussein Alam-Eldin
    • 1
  • Hanan Ahmed Hashem
    • 2
  1. 1.Medical Parasitology Department, Faculty of MedicineAin Shams UniversityCairoEgypt
  2. 2.Botany Department, Faculty of ScienceAin Shams UniversityCairoEgypt

Personalised recommendations