Tropical Animal Health and Production

, Volume 43, Issue 2, pp 521–527 | Cite as

Anthelminthic activity of acetone extract and fractions of Vernonia amygdalina against Haemonchus contortus eggs and larvae

  • Isaiah Oluwafemi Ademola
  • J. N. Eloff
Original Research


The current control of parasitic nematodes in small ruminants relies on the use of chemical anthelminthics, but the development of resistance and the problem of drug residues require research into alternatives. Acetone extract and solvent–solvent fractions of Vernonia amygdalina Del. (Compositae) were evaluated in vitro for potential anti-parasitic effects against the eggs and larvae of Haemonchus contortus. Significant effects were obtained with the extract and fractions but differences were observed depending on the parasitic stage. The acetone extract and fractions inhibited egg hatching and inhibited larval development and killed larvae of H. contortus in a concentration-dependent manner. Best-fit 50% lethal concentration (LC50) values were 957.0, 76.0, 524.0, 309.0 and 224.0 μg/ml for the acetone extract, and the butanol, hexane, chloroform and 35% water in methanol fractions, respectively, when tested against nematode eggs. Best-fit LC50 values for the larval viability test were 508.2, 485.5, 569.3, 348.9 and 196.6 μg/ml for the acetone extract, and the butanol, hexane, chloroform and 35% water in methanol fractions, respectively. The butanol fraction was most active against nematode eggs while the 35% water in methanol fraction was the most active on nematode larvae, although differences in activity between fractions were not significant (p > 0.05). Overall, these in vitro results suggest that V. amygdalina, traditionally used by small farmers in Western Africa, does possess anti-parasitic properties.


Anthelminthic activity Haemonchus contortus In vitro Vernonia amygdalina Eggs Larvae 



The University of Ibadan, Nigeria granted the main author staff development leave and the National Research Foundation South Africa provided a postdoctoral fellowship and funding. The Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute provided the use of facilities and Dr. AF Vatta is thanked for technical assistance and critical appraisal of the manuscript. Dr. F. van Schalkwyk, Biozetica Agri-source (Pty) Ltd., South Africa supplied the H. contortus larvae.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Phytomedicine Programme, Department of Paraclinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary ScienceUniversity of PretoriaOnderstepoortSouth Africa
  2. 2.Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Parasitology, Faculty of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of IbadanIbadanNigeria

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