Original Article

In Vitro Effects of Pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata) Seed Extracts on Echinococcus granulosus Protoscoleces


Background: Echinococcus granulosus parasite causes a zoonotic disease which is important for public and veterinary health. Since pumpkin seeds (Cucurbita sp.) are used as traditional vermifuge in Iran, they may be a potential herbal anthelmintic.

Methods: This study was designed in 2016 to evaluate the in vitro scolicidal effect of Cucurbita moschata seeds form northern part of Iran. Hydroalcoholic and petroleum ether extracts were prepared by maceration and soxhlet respectively. Both extracts with four different concentrations (100, 10, 1, 0.1 mg/ml) were incubated against protoscoleces in 5, 15, 30 and 60 min.

Results: Maximum mortality was 16% with 1% hydroalcoholic extract in 60 min. The highest mortality with organic extract was 4% with 10% concentration in 60 min (P=0.015).

Conclusion: Since highest mortality was 16%, the extract did not reach to LD50 (50% mortality). Therefore, the potency of the total extract is not sufficient as potential scolicidal drug.

1. Brunetti E, Garcia HH, Junghanss T, et al. Cystic echinococcosis: chronic, complex, and still neglected. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2011; 5(7):e1146.
2. Torgerson PR, Budke CM. Echinococcosis--an international public health challenge. Res Vet Sci. 2003; 74(3):191-202.
3. Fasihi Harandi M, Budke CM, Rostami S. The monetary burden of cystic echinococcosis in Iran. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2012; 6(11):e1915.
4. Nikmanesh B, Mirhendi H, Mahmoudi S, et al. Multilocus sequence analysis of Echinococcus granulosus strains isolated from humans and animals in Iran. Exp Parasitol. 2017; 183:50-5.
5. Rahimi MT, Sharifdini M, Ahmadi A, et al. Hydatidosis in human and slaughtered herbivores in Mazandaran province, northern Iran. Asian Pac J Trop Dis. 2011; 1(3):212-5.
6. Yones DA, Taher GA, Ibraheim ZZ. In vitro effects of some herbs used in Egyptian traditional medicine on viability of protoscolices of hydatid cysts. Korean J Parasitol. 2011; 49(3):255-63.
7. Elissondo MC, Pensel PE, Denegri GM. Could thymol have effectiveness on scolices and germinal layer of hydatid cysts? Acta Trop. 2013; 125(3):251-7.
8. Elissondo MC, Albani CM, Gende L, et al. Efficacy of thymol against Echinococcus granulosus protoscoleces. Parasitol Int. 2008; 57(2):185-90.
9. Maggiore MA, Albanese AA, Gende LB, et al. Anthelmintic effect of Mentha spp. essential oils on Echinococcus granulosus protoscoleces and metacestodes. Parasitol Res. 2012; 110(3):1103-12.
10. Anthony JP, Fyfe L, Smith H. Plant active components - a resource for antiparasitic agents? Trends Parasitol. 2005; 21(10):462-8.
11. Li T, Ito A, Chen X, et al. Usefulness of pumpkin seeds combined with areca nut extract in community-based treatment of human taeniasis in northwest Sichuan Province, China. Acta Trop. 2012; 124(2):152-7.
12. A S. Encyclopedia of traditional medicine, medicinal plants. Arjmannd publication, Iran University of Medical Sciences. 2005; 2:396.
13. Production quantities of Pumpkins, squash and gourds by country 2016. http://www.fao.org/faostat
14. Duez P, Chamart S, Hanocq M, et al. Determination of Cucurbitin in Cucurbita spp. seed by HPTLC-densitometry and HPLC. . Planar Chromatogr. 1988; 1: 313–6.
15. Marie-Magdeleine C, Hoste H, Mahieu M, et al. In vitro effects of Cucurbita moschata seed extracts on Haemonchus contortus. Vet Parasitol. 2009; 161(1-2):99-105.
16. Pawłowski ZS, Eckert J, Vuitton DA, et al., editors. Echinococcosis in humans: clinical aspects, diagnosis and treatment. . 20-68 ed. Paris, France: WHO/OIE Manual on Echinococcosis in Humans and Animals. ; 2001.
17. Feitosa TF, Vilela VL, Athayde AC, et al. Anthelmintic efficacy of pumpkin seed (Cucurbita pepo Linnaeus, 1753) on ostrich gastrointestinal nematodes in a semiarid region of Paraiba State, Brazil. Trop Anim Health Prod. 2013; 45(1):123-7.
18. Xiao SH, Keiser J, Chen MG, et al. Research and development of antischistosomal drugs in the People's Republic of China a 60-year review. Adv Parasitol. 2010; 73:231-95.
19. Diaz Obregon D, Lloja Lozano L, Carbajal Zuniga V. Preclinical studies of Cucurbita maxima (pumpkin seeds) a traditional intestinal antiparasitic in rural urban areas. Rev Gastroenterol Peru. 2004; 24(4):323-7.
20. Mahmoud LH, Basiouny SO, Dawoud HA. Treatment of experimental heterophyiasis with two plant extracts, areca nut and pumpkin seed. J Egypt Soc Parasitol. 2002; 32(2):501-6, 1 p following 506.
IssueVol 15 No 1 (2020) QRcode
SectionOriginal Article(s)
DOI https://doi.org/10.18502/ijpa.v15i1.2529
Cucurbita moschata Pumpkin seed extract Echinococcus granulosus Scolicidal effect

Rights and permissions
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
How to Cite
HESARI Z, SHARIFDINI M, SHARIFI-YAZDI MK, GHAFARI S, GHASEMI S, MAHMOUDI S, MOHEBALI M, NIKMANESH B. In Vitro Effects of Pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata) Seed Extracts on Echinococcus granulosus Protoscoleces. Iran J Parasitol. 2020;15(1):76-83.