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Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 98, Issue 1, pp 71–82 | Cite as

Nematophagous fungi for biological control of gastrointestinal nematodes in domestic animals

  • Fabio Ribeiro Braga
  • Jackson Victor de Araújo
Mini-Review

Abstract

Several studies have been conducted using fungi in the biological control of domestic animals and humans. In this respect, a large amount of research has been undertaken to understand the particularities of each fungus used. These fungi have been demonstrated to act on all classes of helminthes. Therefore, they should not only be called nematophagous but also helmintophagous. Evidence of enzymatic action has also revealed their mechanism of action, as well as potential metabolites that could be synthesized as bioactive molecules. Cultural barriers to the use of fungi should be broken down, since the impact on the environment is minimal. In this context, much is already known about the mechanism of interaction of these organisms with their ‘targets’. Recent research has pointed to the search for substances derived from nematophagous fungi that have demonstrated their ovicidal and/or larvicidal activity, thus being a global premise to be studied further. Crude extracts derived from nematophagous fungi of predator and ovicidal groups reduce the amount of larvae of gastrointestinal nematodes and prevent the hatching of their eggs, since they have been demonstrated to act with extracellular proteases and other enzymes. Furthermore, the activity of these enzymes has begun to be explored regarding their possible interaction with the exoskeleton of arthropods, which could emerge as an alternative method of tick control. Finally, it should be clear that nematophagous fungi in general are ‘old friends’ that are ready to the ‘fight with our old enemies’, the gastrointestinal helminth parasites harmful to human and animal health.

Keywords

Nematophagous fungi Biological control Helminthes Fungal predators Ovicidal fungi 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fabio Ribeiro Braga
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jackson Victor de Araújo
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de VeterináriaUniversidade Federal de ViçosaViçosaBrazil
  2. 2.Universidade Vila VelhaVila VelhaBrazil

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