Protoscolecidal Effect of Berberis vulgaris Root Extract and Its Main Compound, Berberine in Cystic Echinococcosis


Background: Cystic echinococcosis (CE), a zoonotic parasitic infection caused by the metacestode (larvae) stage of dog tapeworm Echinococcus granulosus and recognized as a major economic and public health concern in the world. This study aimed to investigate the in vitro scolicidal effect of methanolic extract of Berberis vulgaris L. roots and its main compound, berberine against protoscoleces of hydatid cysts.

Methods: For this purpose, protoscoleces were aseptically aspirated from sheep livers having hydatid cysts. Various concentrations of the methanolic extract (0.25-2 mg/ml) and berberine (0.062- 0.5 mg/ml) were used for 5 to 30 min. Viability of protoscoleces was confirmed by eosin exclusive test.

Results: In the present study, all of the various concentrations of the B. vulgaris methanolic extract (0.25, 0.5, 1 and 2 mg/ml) and berberine (0.062, 0.125, 0.25 and 0.5 mg/ml) revealed significant (P<0.05) scolicidal effects against protoscoleces of E. granulosus in a dose-dependent manner. Both berberine and methanolic extract exhibited 100% inhibition against protoscoleces of E. granulosus at the concentration of 2.0 and 0.5 mg/ml after 10 min incubation respectively.

Conclusion: According to the results, both B. vulgaris methanolic extract and berberine alone demonstrated high scolicidal activities against protoscoleces of hydatid cysts in low concentration and short exposure time on in vitro model.However, in vivo efficacy of B. vulgaris and berberine also requires to be evaluated using an animal model with hydatid infection.

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IssueVol 9 No 4 (2014) QRcode
Echinococcus granulosus European barberry Hydatid cyst Scolicidal

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Mahmoudvand H, Saedi Dezaki E, Sharififar F, Ezatpour B, Jahanbakhsh S, Fasihi Harandi M. Protoscolecidal Effect of Berberis vulgaris Root Extract and Its Main Compound, Berberine in Cystic Echinococcosis. Iran J Parasitol. 1;9(4):503-510.