The effects of different plant extracts on nematodes
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The anthelminthic efficacy of some differently obtained extracts of several plants was tested in vivo in laboratory animals and in vitro. The extracts were obtained by ethanolic, methanolic, aqueous, or chloroform, respectively, acetonitrile polyethylenglycol (PEG) and/or propylencarbonate (PC) elution at room temperature or at 37°C. The plants used were bulbs of onions, garlic, chives, coconut, birch tree, ananas, cistrose, banana, chicory, date palm fruit, fig, pumpkin, and neem tree seeds. The worm systems tested both in vivo and in vitro were Trichuris muris and Angiostrongylus cantonensis but only in vivo Toxocara cati. The tests clearly showed that the different extraction methods eluted different components and different mass amounts, which had different efficacies against the above-cited worms. In vitro effects against A. cantonensis and T.muris were best with aqueous extracts, followed by chloroform extracts. The other plant extracts showed only low or no effects on A. cantonensis in vitro. In the case of T. muris, best results were obtained in vivo and in vitro with PEG/PC extracts of the onion followed by the aqueous extract of coconut. The complete elimination of worms in the in vivo experiments with T. muris was obtained when infected mice were treated with a 1:1 mixture of extracts of coconut and onion being produced by elutions with a mixture of 1:1 PEG and PC and fed daily for 8 days. T. cati in a naturally infected cat was eliminated by daily oral application of 6 ml coco’s fluid for 5 days. This study shows that a broad spectrum of plants has anti-nematodal activities, the intensity of which, however, depends on the mode of extraction. This implicates that, if results should be really comparable, the same extraction methods at the same temperatures have to be used. Furthermore, efficacy in in vitro systems does not guarantee as good—if at all—efficacy in vivo.
KeywordsPlant Extract Infected Mouse Adult Worm Trichuris Tyrode Solution
We hereby acknowledge the great support of numerous co-workers in our institute who helped us to prepare the great number of different extracts and the realization of much more experiments than presented here. Furthermore, we deeply acknowledge the strong support of the Centre of Excellence of the College of Science of the King Saud University at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
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