The Efficacy of Citrus maxima Peels Aqueous Extract Against Cryptosporidiosis in Immunecompromised Mice



 Cryptosporidiosis is an opportunistic globally distributed parasitic disease caused by protozoan Cryptosporidium where its development is closely related to the host’s immune status. New therapeutic agents are a high priority as chemotherapeutics are impractical and vaccines are unavailable for young as well as immune-compromised patients or animals. The current study was designed to evaluate the therapeutic effect of the internal white (albedo) and external yellow (flavedo) peels of Citrus maxima (C. maxima) as an alternative medicinal plant.

Materials and methods 

Parasitological examination for oocysts in the stool was determined. Histopathological alterations and immunohistochemical expression of APC and cyclin D1 as well as an assessment of interferon-γ (IFN-γ) and interleukin 1β (IL-1β) in ileal tissues was carried out. In addition, the biochemical examination of serum albumin, globulin and liver enzymes were evaluated. Results revealed a significant decrease of oocysts count correlated with an amelioration of histopathological and immunohistochemical changes in ileal tissue with an enhancement of liver enzymes and inflammatory cytokines levels.


 It could be concluded that treatment with C. maxima peel extracts have a potential therapeutic and an immunoregulatory efficacy against Cryptosporidiosis. Obtained results showed that the white peel was found to have more immunological effect that could significantly enhance inflammatory cytokines response towards normal status. Hence, it can be used in the daily animal diet to give protective effects against infection.

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The authors wish to acknowledge the assistance given by the National Center of Radiation, Research and Technology, which provided all facilities for this study. Also, the acknowledgment was extended to the contribution of Dr. Sayed Abdel Rahiem, Assistant Professor of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Alazhar University, for assistance in setting up histopathological study.


This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not- for-profit sectors.

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Hafez, E.N., Hamed, W.F.A.E. The Efficacy of Citrus maxima Peels Aqueous Extract Against Cryptosporidiosis in Immunecompromised Mice. Acta Parasit. (2021).

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  • Cryptosporidiosis
  • Citrus maxima
  • Nitazoxanide
  • Immune response
  • Histopathology
  • Cyclin D1
  • APC