Parasitology Research

, Volume 112, Issue 7, pp 2639–2646 | Cite as

Anti-coccidial, anthelmintic and antioxidant activities of pomegranate (Punica granatum) peel extract

  • Mohammed A. Dkhil
Original Paper


Coccidiosis and helminthosis in poultry are responsible for worldwide economic losses. The methanolic extract of Punica granatum (pomegranate) peel was used in vivo for its pharmacological, antioxidant and anti-coccidial properties and in vitro for its anthelmintic activity. For the in vivo study, four groups of mice were investigated. The first group was inoculated only with sterile saline and served as the control group. The second group was treated by oral gavage with pomegranate extract (300 mg/kg) daily for 5 days. The third and fourth groups were infected with 103 sporulated oocysts of Eimeria papillata. The fourth group was also treated once daily with pomegranate peel extract for 5 days. For the in vitro study, the anthelmintic effect of pomegranate peel extract was observed on live adult Allolobophora caliginosa. Paraffin sections from jejunum as well as jejunal homogenate were prepared for the histopathological and biochemical investigations, respectively. The data showed that mice infected with E. papillata revealed an output of approximately 2.9 × 105 oocysts per gram faeces on day 5 p.i. This output is significantly decreased to 50 % in pomegranate-treated mice. Infection with E. papillata induced marked histopathological alterations in jejunum in the form of inflammation, vacuolation of the epithelium and destruction of some villi. In addition, pomegranate extract caused a great diminish in body weight loss of infected mice. Moreover, the number of goblet cells stained with Alcian blue within the infected villi was significantly increased by about 26 % after pomegranate treatment. In addition, Pomegranate significantly lowered the increased number of apoptotic cells due to E. papillata infection by about 36 %. The results showed that E. papillata enhanced hydrogen peroxide, lipid peroxidation and nitric oxide production with concomitant reduction in glutathione. Pomegranate induced marked improvements in all of the studied parameters as well as the histopathological features of jejunum. In addition, pomegranate was able to exert a significant anthelmintic effect on live adult A. caliginosa worms in terms of the paralysis and death of the worms at different concentrations (100, 200 and 300 mg/ml). The study revealed that pomegranate as a natural product has protective effects against E. papillata-induced coccidiosis as well as it possesses an anthelmintic activity.


Goblet Cell Albendazole Coccidiosis Anthelmintic Activity Pomegranate Peel 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors appreciate the Distinguished Scientist Fellowship Program, King Saud University, Saudi Arabia for funding this work.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Zoology and Entomology, Faculty of ScienceHelwan UniversityCairoEgypt
  2. 2.Department of Zoology, College of ScienceKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia

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