In vivo and in vitro evaluation of the effect of glyphosate (Roundup) on Toxoplasma gondii

Abstract

Apicoplast, a derived non-photosynthetic plastid, which is found in most Apicomplexa, provides essential functions to parasites. The shikimate pathway is localized in the plant chloroplast as a remarkable route for the survival of the Toxoplasma. In this study, in vivo and in vitro effects of glyphosate (Roundup, Herbicide), as an inhibitor of the enzyme, were evaluated on T. gondii. Tachyzoites of RH strain were incubated for 1.5 h in various concentrations (1–128 µg/ml) of glyphosate. The parasite was cultivated in the cell monolayer of the heLa cell, and then the cultures were exposed to various concentrations. To evaluate the therapeutic quality, 2 × 105 tachyzoites were intradermally inoculated into ten mice from each group. Four doses of the compound were daily administrated every 24 h after inoculation due 10 days continuously. Also, two other groups were assigned as the positive and negative control. In flow cytometry, the highest mortality rate was related to concentrations of 128 and 256 μg/ml, 18.29% and 18.64%, respectively, while the mortality rate was 0.03% in the negative control (P value > 0.05). Based on microscopic observation of the stained touch smear of the liver, all treated mice were killed by the parasite. This compound also had no lethal effect on the mice. According to the results of this study, glyphosate is not a good candidate for the treatment of toxoplasmosis. It seems that the parasite has another pathway for providing the essential amino acids.

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Acknowledgements

We would like to express our gratitude to the Vice-Chancellors for Research Affairs of Shiraz University of Medical Sciences for financial support of this project No: 97-01-01-19222. The authors would like to thank Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran and also Center for Development of Clinical Research of Nemazee Hospital and Dr. Nasrin Shokrpour for editorial assistance.

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Correspondence to Qasem Asgari.

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This research was conducted according to the ethical principles of working with laboratory animals and the permission of the Ethics Committee of Shiraz University of Medical Sciences (ethical code: IR.SUMS.MED.REC.1398.223).

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Hosseinpour, H., Mirzaeipour, M., Nohtani, M. et al. In vivo and in vitro evaluation of the effect of glyphosate (Roundup) on Toxoplasma gondii. J Parasit Dis (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12639-021-01352-7

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Keywords

  • Toxoplasma gondii
  • Roundup
  • Glyphosate
  • Toxoplasmosis
  • Shikimate pathway