International journal of antimicrobial agents | 2 Jul 2017
MP Silva, RN de Oliveira, AC Mengarda, DB Roquini, SM Alegretti, MC Salvadori, FS Teixeira, DP de Sousa, PLS Pinto and J de Moraes
Schistosomiasis is a major public health problem worldwide, especially in poor communities. Since praziquantel is currently the only drug available to treat schistosomiasis, there is an urgent need to identify new antischistosomal drugs. Nerolidol is a sesquiterpene present as an essential oil in several plants, and it has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. In this study, we evaluated the in vivo antischistosomal activity of nerolidol in a mouse model of schistosomiasis infected with either adult or juvenile stages of Schistosoma mansoni. A single dose of nerolidol (100, 200 or 400 mg/kg) administered orally to mice infected with adult schistosomes resulted in a reduction in the worm burden and egg production. The treatment with the highest dose of nerolidol (400 mg/kg) significantly caused a total worm burden reduction of 70.06% (P<0.001). In addition, the technique of quantitative and qualitative oograms showed that a single dose of 400 mg/kg achieved immature egg reductions of 84.6% (P<0.001). In feces samples, the Kato-Katz method also revealed a reduction of 75.2% of eggs per gram at a dose of 400 mg/kg (P<0.001). Furthermore, scanning electron microscopy revealed that nerolidol-mediated worm killing was associated with tegumental damage. In contrast to the activity against adult S. mansoni infections, oral treatment with nerolidol 400 mg/kg had low efficacy in mice harboring juvenile schistosomes. Since nerolidol is already in use globally as a food additive and has a safety record, evaluation of this natural compound's potential for the treatment of schistosomiasis could be entirely cost-effective in the near future.
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