Acta Parasitologica

, Volume 64, Issue 2, pp 367–375 | Cite as

Scolicidal Effects of Chitosan–Curcumin Nanoparticles on the Hydatid Cyst Protoscolices

  • Sara Napooni
  • Mahdi DelavariEmail author
  • Mohsen Arbabi
  • Hossein Barkheh
  • Sima Rasti
  • Hossein Hooshyar
  • S. Mostafa Hosseinpour Mashkani
Original Paper



In the current era, cystic echinococcosis (CE), as larval stage of Echinococcus granulosus, is considered as a threat to human health. Scolicidal agents used in the surgery of cysts have different side effects. Therefore, the present study aimed to assess the effects of chitosan nanoparticles containing curcumin (Ch–Cu NPs) on the protoscolices of the hydatid cyst in vitro.


Ch–Cu NPs were synthesized using a simple co-precipitation method and their structural and morphological properties were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), zeta analyzer, and Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy. Then, the effects of different concentrations of Ch–Cu NPs (0.25, 0.05, 1, 2, and 4 mg/mL) on the fatality rate, and the length and width of protoscolices in different times (5, 10, 20, 30, and 60 min) were investigated. In addition, the SEM technique was used to evaluate the structure of the protoscolices after treatment.


Based on the results, the presence of curcumin on the chitosan nanoparticles was confirmed by FT-IR analysis. Further, XRD analysis approved the crystal structure of chitosan NPs. Furthermore, the highest fatality rate was 68% in 4 mg/mL concentration of Ch–Cu NPs. The length and width of protoscolices decreased based on the high concentrations of Ch–Cu NPs, compared to the control group.


Finally, Ch–Cu NPs expressed good scolicidal activities, which made them suitable to be considered as an anti-protoscolex agent.


Scolicidal effect Chitosan–curcumin nanoparticles Anti-protoscolex agent Hydatid cyst 



The Vice Chancellor for Research of Kashan University of Medical Sciences granted this study (project No., 94150).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Witold Stefański Institute of Parasitology, Polish Academy of Sciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Medical Parasitology and Mycology, School of MedicineKashan University of Medical SciencesKashanIran
  2. 2.Department of Biophysics, Faculty of Biological ScienceTarbiat Modares UniversityTehranIran
  3. 3.Young Researchers and Elites Club, Arak BranchIslamic Azad UniversityArakIran

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