Enhancement of the therapeutic efficacy of praziquantel in murine Schistosomiasis mansoni using silica nanocarrier

  • Gihan Mostafa Tawfeek
  • Mohammad Hassan Abdel Baki
  • Ayman Nabil IbrahimEmail author
  • Marmar Ahmad Hanafy Mostafa
  • Mohamed Mahmoud Fathy
  • Marwa Salah El Din Mohamed Diab
Treatment and Prophylaxis - Original Paper


The main objective of this work is preparation of mesoporous silica nanoparticles loaded with praziquantel (PZQ-Si) in order to enhance the therapeutic efficacy of praziquantel (PZQ). Mice were experimentally infected with Schistosoma mansoni and treated 6 weeks post-infection with PZQ in different doses via either oral or intraperitoneal (IP) routes. PZQ in the same doses orally administered to S. mansoni-infected mice was used as a drug control, and infected and non-infected non-treated mice served as positive and negative controls, respectively. PZQ-Si exhibited good physicochemical attributes in terms of small uniform size (105 nm), spherical shape, and PZQ entrapment efficiency (83%). A maximum antischistosomal effect was achieved using orally administered PZQ-Si as reflected by total worm burden, tissue egg count, oogram pattern, and hepatic granuloma count and diameter. The biomarkers related to liver oxidative stress status and immunomodulatory effect (serum TNF-α and IL-10) were significantly improved. Data obtained implied that IP route was less efficacious for the delivery of PZQ-Si. Encapsulation of PZQ permits the reduction of the used therapeutic dose of PZQ. Hepatic DNA fragmentation, measured by comet assay, was significantly improved in infected mice treated with maximum dose of PZQ-Si as compared to positive or PZQ control groups. The results indicate that mesoporous silica NP is a promising safe nanocarrier for PZQ potentiating its antischistosomal, antioxidant, immunomodulatory, and anti-inflammatory action in animal model infected with S. mansoni. From a practical standpoint, PZQ-Si using a lower dose of PZQ could be suggested for effective PZQ antischistosomal mass chemotherapy.


Silica nanoparticles Schistosoma mansoni Histopathology Oxidative stress 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

We wish to confirm that there are no known conflicts of interest associated with this publication, and there has been no significant financial support for this work that could have influenced its outcome. We confirm that the manuscript has been read and approved by all named authors and that there are no other persons who satisfied the criteria for authorship but are not listed. We further confirm that the order of authors listed in the manuscript has been approved by all of us.

Ethical approval

The study was approved by the Research Ethics Committee, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University. All the animal experiments were performed according to the national regulations for the Animal Ethics rules, Ain-Shams University, Cairo, Egypt.


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gihan Mostafa Tawfeek
    • 1
  • Mohammad Hassan Abdel Baki
    • 1
  • Ayman Nabil Ibrahim
    • 1
    Email author
  • Marmar Ahmad Hanafy Mostafa
    • 1
  • Mohamed Mahmoud Fathy
    • 2
  • Marwa Salah El Din Mohamed Diab
    • 3
  1. 1.Faculty of MedicineAin-Shams UniversityCairoEgypt
  2. 2.Faculty of ScienceCairo UniversityCairoEgypt
  3. 3.Department of Molecular Drug EvaluationNational Organization for Drug Control Research (NODCAR)GizaEgypt

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