Skip to main content

Effect of Propolis, a Honeybee Product, Against a Parasite (Ligictaluridus floridanus) from Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) Gills



The aim of this study was to evaluate the in vitro and in vivo efficacy of propolis against Ligictaluridus floridanus on Ictalurus punctatus gills.


This study used an ethanol extract of propolis at a concentration of 300 mg mL−1, with a total polyphenol concentration of 2.77 mg mL−1 as determined by chromatography. In vitro trial used propolis concentrations at 5, 30 as well as 60 mg L–1 and a 70% ethanol control group to treat naturally infected catfish. The in vivo experiment was 16 weeks in duration, consisting of seventy-two fish infected by cohabitation and subjected to one-hour baths every 72 h during the trial.


In vitro studies showed that parasites exposed to 60 mg L−1 of propolis displayed a significant reduction (p < 0.05) in their survival time. In vivo studies confirmed the reduction of intensity and abundance of Ligictaluridus floridanus on the gills of channel catfish.


This study has provided the first challenge of propolis against L. floridanus on I. punctatus gills and shows that propolis has an anthelmintic effect.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3


  1. 1.

    Aga H, Shibuya T, Sugimoto T, Kurimoto M, Nakajima S (1994) Isolation and identification of antimicrobial compounds in Brazilian propolis. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem 58:945–946.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Alderman DJ, Michel C (1992) Chemotherapy in aquaculture: from theory to reality: symposium, Paris, 12–15 March 1991. Office International Des Epizooties, Paris

    Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Bankova VS, de Castro SL, Marcucci MC (2000) Propolis: recent advances in chemistry and plant origin. Apidologie 31:3–15.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Benavides-González F, Gómez-Flores RA, Sánchez-Martínez JG, Rábago-Castro JL, Montelongo-Alfaro IO (2014) In vitro and in vivo antiparasitic efficacy of praziquantel against monogenean Ligictaluridus floridanus in channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus). Thai J Vet Med 44:533–539

    Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Bonvehí JS, Coll FV (1994) The composition, active components and bacteriostatic activity of propolis in dietetics. J Am Oil Chem Soc 71:529–532.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Bush AO, Lafferty KD, Lotz JM, Shostak AW (1997) Parasitology meets ecology on its own terms: Margolis et al. revisited. J Parasitol.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Campbell RE, Lilley JH, Panyawachira V, Kanchanakhan S (2001) In vitro screening of novel treatments for Aphanomyces invadans. Aquac Res 32:223–233.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Del Rio-Zaragoza OB, Fajer-Ávila EJ, Almazán-Rueda P (2011) Influence of β-glucan on innate immunity and resistance of Lutjanus guttatus to an experimental infection of dactylogyrid monogeneans. Parasite Immunol 33:483–494.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Dotta G, Brum A, Jeronimo GT, Maraschin M, Martins ML (2015) Effect of dietary supplementation with propolis and Aloe barbadensis extracts on hematological parameters and parasitism in Nile tilapia. Rev Bras Parasitol Vet 24:66–71.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Farnesi AP, Aquino-Ferreira R, De Jong D, Bastos JK, Soares AEE (2009) Effects of stingless bee and honey bee propolis on four species of bacteria. Genet Mol Res 8:635–640.

  11. 11.

    Freitas SF, Shinohara L, Sforcin JM, Guimarães S (2006) In vitro effects of propolis on Giardia duodenalis trophozoites. Phytomedicine 13:170–175.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Hegazi AG, El Hady FKA, Shalaby HA (2007) An in vitro effect of propolis on adult worms of Fasciola gigantica. Vet Parasitol 144:279–286.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Hirazawa N, Ohtaka T, Hata K (2000) Challenge trials on the anthelmintic effect of drugs and natural agents against the monogenean Heterobothrium okamotoi in the tiger puffer Takifugu rubripes. Aquaculture 188:1–13.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Hoffman GL (1985) Worm parasites (helminths and leeches). In: Plumb JA (ed) Principal diseases of farm raised catfish. Southern cooperative series 225, Auburn, Alabama, pp 35–49

  15. 15.

    Ji J, Lu C, Kang Y, Wang GX, Chen P (2012) Screening of 42 medicinal plants for in vivo anthelmintic activity against Dactylogyrus intermedius (Monogenea) in goldfish (Carassius auratus). Parasitol Res 111:97–104.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Krol W, Scheller S, Shani J, Pietsz G, Czuba Z (1993) Synergistic effect of ethanolic extract of propolis and antibiotics on the growth of Staphylococcus aureus. Arzneimittelforschung 43:607–609.

  17. 17.

    Li F, He YM, Awale S, Kadota S, Tezuka Y (2011) Two new cytotoxic phenylallyl flavanones from Mexican propolis. Chem Pharm Bull 59:1194–1196.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Lotti C, Fernandez MC, Piccinelli AL, Cuesta-Rubio O, Hernández IM, Rastrelli L (2010) Chemical constituents of red Mexican propolis. J Agric Food Chem 58:2209–2213.

  19. 19.

    Marcucci MC (1995) Propolis: chemical composition, biological properties and therapeutic activity. Apidologie 26:83–99.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Mioso R, Marantea FJT, de Lagunab IHB, Bessonartc M (2014) Química de productos naturales aplicada a la acuicultura: Una revisión interdisciplinar. Quim Nova 37:513–520.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Mirzoeva OK, Grishanin RN, Calder PC (1997) Antimicrobial action of propolis and some of its components: the effects on growth, membrane potential and motility of bacteria. Microbiol Res 152:239–246.

  22. 22.

    Park YK, Ikegaki M, Abreu JDS, Alcici NMF (1998) Estudo da preparação dos extratos de própolis e suas aplicações. Ciênc Tecnol Aliment 18:313–318.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Rábago-Castro JL, Sánchez-Martínez JG, Loredo-Osti J, Gomez-Flores R, Tamez-Guerra P, Ramírez-Pfeiffer C (2011) Temporal and spatial variations of ectoparasites on cage-reared channel catfish, Ictalurus punctatus in Tamaulipas, México. J World Aquacult Soc 42:406–411.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    Rosas-Valdez R, de León GPP (2005) Biogeografía histórica de helmintos parásitos de ictalúridos en América del Norte: Una hipótesis preliminar utilizando el método panbiogeográfico. In: Llorente J, Morrone JJ (eds) Regionalización biogeográfica en Iberoamérica y tópicos afines: Primeras Jornadas Biogeográficas de la Red Iberoamericana de Biogeografía y Entomología Sistemática (RIBES XII. I-CYTED). Las Prensas de Ciencias, UNAM, Mexico, pp 217–226

    Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Ruiz-Uribe AJ, Martínez-Ávila GCG, Marroquín-Cardona AG (2016) Cuantificación de proteínas y polifenoles totales de propóleo comercial mexicano. Rev Cienc Pharm Biomed 1:8.

  26. 26.

    Salem MM, Capers J, Rito S, Werbovetz KA (2011) Antiparasitic activity of C-Geranyl flavonoids from Mimulus bigelovii. Phytother Res 25:1246–1249.

  27. 27.

    Scazzocchio F, DAuria FD, Alessandrini D, Pantanella F (2006) Multifactorial aspects of antimicrobial activity of propolis. Microbiol Res 161:327–333.

  28. 28.

    Schelkle B, Doetjes R, Cable J (2011) The salt myth revealed: Treatment of gyrodactylid infections on ornamental guppies, Poecilia reticulata. Aquaculture 311:74–79.

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  29. 29.

    Silveira-Coffigny R (2006) Los productos fito-farmacéuticos en la acuicultura—the phytofarmaceuticals products in aquaculture. REDVET 7:1–10.

  30. 30.

    Stratev D, Dinkov D, Vashin I (2012) Antibacterial effect of extracts from Bulgarian’s “poplar” propolis and Smoke tree (Cotinus coggigria Scop.) against Aeromonas hydrophila (ATCC 7965). Rev Med Vet 163:443–447.

  31. 31.

    Tu X, Ling F, Huang A, Zhang Q, Wang G (2013) Anthelmintic efficacy of Santalum album (Santalaceae) against monogenean infections in goldfish. Parasitol Res 112:2839–2845.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  32. 32.

    Tukmechi A, Ownagh A, Mohebbat A (2010) In vitro antibacterial activities of ethanol extract of Iranian propolis (EEIP) against fish pathogenic bacteria (Aeromonas hydrophila, Yersinia ruckeri and Streptococcus iniae). Braz J Microbiol 41:1086–1092.

    CAS  Article  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  33. 33.

    Wu ZF, Zhu B, Wang Y, Lu C, Wang GX (2011) In vivo evaluation of anthelmintic potential of medicinal plant extracts against Dactylogyrus intermedius (Monogenea) in goldfish (Carassius auratus). Parasitol Res 108:1557–1563.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references


Thanks are extended to the National Council of Science and Technology of Mexico (CONACYT) for the scholarship to J. A. de la Cruz-Cervantes.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Flaviano Benavides-González.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All applicable international, national, and/or institutional guidelines for the care and use of animals were followed by the authors.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

de la Cruz-Cervantes, J.A., Sánchez-Martínez, J.G., Ruíz-Uribe, A.J. et al. Effect of Propolis, a Honeybee Product, Against a Parasite (Ligictaluridus floridanus) from Catfish (Ictalurus punctatus) Gills. Acta Parasit. 65, 804–809 (2020).

Download citation


  • Propolis
  • Anthelmintic
  • Catfish
  • Ectoparasite
  • Monogenean
  • Ligictaluridus floridanus