Hydro-Ethanolic Extract of Mentha pulegium Exhibit Anthelmintic and Antioxidant Proprieties In Vitro and In Vivo



During recent decades, the emergence of chemoresistance among synthetic anthelmintic drugs has increased the interest in screening novel natural anthelmintic compounds derived from plants. The current study is aimed to determine the chemical profile, anthelmintic and antioxidant properties of Mentha pulegium hydro-ethanolic extract.

Materials and Methods

Two tests were used to assess the in vitro anthelmintic activity of the hydro-ethanolic extract of M. pulegium against Haemonchus contortus; egg hatch assay (EHA) and adult worm motility (AWM) assay. M. pulegium extracts at the doses of 500, 1000, 2000 and 4000 mg/kg were evaluated in vivo in mice infected with Heligmosomoides polygyrus. The anthelmintic efficacy was monitored using faecal egg count reduction (FECR) and total worm count reduction (TWCR). The antioxidant activity of M. pulegium extract was evaluated by testing the total antioxidant capacity and the DPPH free radical-scavenging ability.


Chromatographic characterization of M. pulegium composition using RP-HPLC revealed the presence of phenolic acids such as syringic acid, ferulic acid and the presence of flavonoid compounds, such as isorhamnetin-3-O-glucoside and kaempferol-3-O-rutinoside. We observed 91.58% inhibition in the EHA at 8 mg/mL after 48 h of incubation (IC50=1.82 mg/mL). In the AWM assay, M. pulegium extract achieved 65.2% inhibition at 8 mg/mL after 8 h. The highest dose (4000 mg/kg) showed a significant nematicidal effect 7 days post-treatment by inducing 60.39% FECR and 71.6% TWCR. We also report strong in vivo antioxidant capacity of the extract, as revealed by a significant increase of the enzymatic activities of catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) enzymes in mice infected with H. polygyrus.


Together, the results in this paper suggest that M. pulegium possesses anthelmintic properties and could be a potential source of novel compounds for the control of helminth parasites as well as its associated oxidative damage.

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This study received financial support by “Laboratoire d’Epidémiologie d’Infections Enzootiques des Herbivores en Tunisie” (Ministère de l’enseignement supérieur, Tunisia). We are grateful to Mr Limam Sassi, Mr Mohamed Jedidi, and Mr Tawfik Lahmar for their valuable technical assistance. This article is based upon work from COST Action COMBAR CA16230, supported by COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology).

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Sebai, E., Serairi, R., Saratsi, K. et al. Hydro-Ethanolic Extract of Mentha pulegium Exhibit Anthelmintic and Antioxidant Proprieties In Vitro and In Vivo. Acta Parasit. 65, 375–387 (2020). https://doi.org/10.2478/s11686-020-00169-3

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  • Mentha pulegium
  • Anthelmintic
  • Heligmosomoides polygyrus
  • Haemonchus contortus
  • Antioxidant