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Fennel-loaded chitosan particles found to be an anthelmintic against Schistosoma mansoni


In this study, researchers from Benha University in Egypt assessed the therapeutic effect of chitosan nanoparticles loaded with Nigella sativa (NSLCN) and the structural changes they induce in parasitic worms in vitro. The results of their study were published in the Journal of Medicinal Plants Research.

  • Nanoparticles are commonly used as drug carriers because they can modulate drug pharmacokinetics, increase drug bioavailability, and allow targeted release with minimal toxic effects.
  • For this study, the researchers tested the effects of NSLCN on adult Schistosoma mansoni, which were removed from the portal and mesenteric veins of infected mice.
  • The researchers then cultured three to five mature worms of both sexes and exposed them to varying concentrations of NSCLN for 24 and 48 hours.
  • They assessed worm viability using a stereomicroscope 24 and 48 hr after treatment and compared it with positive and negative control groups.
  • The researchers reported that the mortality rate of worms reached 88.9 percent after they were treated with 100 and 80 micrograms per milliliter (mcg/ml) NSLCN, and 84.6 percent after they were treated with 80 and 60 mcg/ml.
  • After a 48-hour incubation with the same concentration, the researchers observed variable effects on the motility and death of the worms. Their death rate reached 100 percent in all groups treated with NSCLN.
  • After 24 h of incubation, the worms were still alive but sluggish; they died after 48 h.
  • Using through scanning electron microscopy (SEM), the researchers confirmed the tegumental changes in both dead male and female worms. These changes included loss of spine, swollen suckers, swollen inter-tubercular ridges in males, and loss of smooth architecture in female teguments with multiple pores.

Based on these results, the researchers concluded that NSCLN is a new potential candidate for the treatment of schistosomiasis.

Journal Reference:

Shereen MK, Ahlam FM, Marwa MN, Hemat SA, Fatma FH. IN VITRO EFFECT AND SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPIC CHANGES OF NIGELLA SATIVA LOADED CHITOSAN NANOPARTICLES ON SCHISTOSOMA MANSONI ADULT. Journal of Medicinal Plants Research. 10 February 2019;13(3):66–72. DOI: 10.5897/jmpr2018.6722

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