Parasitology Research

, Volume 118, Issue 6, pp 1741–1749 | Cite as

Efficacy of silver nanoparticles against the adults and eggs of monogenean parasites of fish

  • Citlalic Altagracia Pimentel-Acosta
  • Francisco Neptalí Morales-Serna
  • María Cristina Chávez-Sánchez
  • Humberto Herman Lara
  • Alexey Pestryakov
  • Nina Bogdanchikova
  • Emma Josefina Fajer-ÁvilaEmail author
Fish Parasitology - Original Paper


Monogeneans are a diverse group of parasites that are commonly found on fish. Some monogenean species are highly pathogenic to cultured fish. The present study aimed to determine the in vitro anthelmintic effect of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) against adults and eggs of monogeneans in freshwater using Cichlidogyrus spp. as a model organism. We tested two types of AgNPs with different synthesis methodologies and size diameters: ARGOVIT (35 nm) and UTSA (1–3 nm) nanoparticles. Damage to the parasite tegument was observed by scanning electron microscopy. UTSA AgNPs were more effective than ARGOVIT; in both cases, there was a concentration-dependent effect. A concentration of 36 μg/L UTSA AgNPs for 1 h was 100% effective against eggs and adult parasites, causing swelling, loss of corrugations, and disruption of the parasite’s tegument. This is an interesting result considering that monogenean eggs are typically tolerant to antiparasite drugs and chemical agents. To the best of our knowledge, no previous reports have assessed the effect of AgNPs on any metazoan parasites of fish. Therefore, the present work provides a basis for future research on the control of fish parasite diseases.


Control disease Silver nanoparticles Platyhelminthes Tegument Toxicity 



We would like to thank María Berenit Mendoza Garfias (Instituto de Biología, UNAM) for her support in processing samples for scanning electron microscopy. Rosa María Medina Guerrero and Irma Eugenia Martínez Rodríguez (CIAD-Mazatlán) provided technical assistance. The present study was supported by the National Council of Science and Technology (CONACyT), Mexico, through grant no. 258607: “Estudio del efecto de nanopartículas de plata en virus, bacterias y parásitos de organismos acuáticos” and CONACyT Networks grant no. 293418.

Compliance with ethical standards

This work was conducted using a tilapia–monogenean model system, and all procedures were performed in accordance with the ethical standards of the CIAD-Mazatlán following the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Guidelines for the Euthanasia of Animals.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Citlalic Altagracia Pimentel-Acosta
    • 1
  • Francisco Neptalí Morales-Serna
    • 2
  • María Cristina Chávez-Sánchez
    • 1
  • Humberto Herman Lara
    • 3
  • Alexey Pestryakov
    • 4
  • Nina Bogdanchikova
    • 5
  • Emma Josefina Fajer-Ávila
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Centro de Investigación en Alimentación y Desarrollo, A.C. Unidad Mazatlán en Acuicultura y Manejo AmbientalMazatlánMexico
  2. 2.CONACYT, Centro de Investigación en Alimentación y Desarrollo, A.C. Unidad Mazatlán en Acuicultura y Manejo AmbientalMazatlánMexico
  3. 3.Department of Biology and South Texas Center for Emerging Infectious DiseasesThe University of Texas at San AntonioSan AntonioUSA
  4. 4.Tomsk Polytechnic UniversityTomskRussia
  5. 5.Departamento de Fisicoquímica, Centro de Nanociencias y NanotecnologíaUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoEnsenadaMexico

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