Identification of lead chemotherapeutic agents from medicinal plants against blood flukes and whipworms

Wangchuk, Phurpa, Giacomin, Paul R., Pearson, Mark S., Smout, Michael J., and Loukas, Alex (2016) Identification of lead chemotherapeutic agents from medicinal plants against blood flukes and whipworms. Scientific Reports, 6. 32101. pp. 1-10.

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Schistosomiasis and trichuriasis are two of the most common neglected tropical diseases (NTD) that affect almost a billion people worldwide. There is only limited number of effective drugs to combat these NTD. Medicinal plants are a viable source of parasiticides. In this study, we have investigated six of the 19 phytochemicals isolated from two Bhutanese medicinal plants, Corydalis crispa and Pleurospermum amabile, for their anthelmintic properties. We used xWORM technique and Scanning Electron Microscope-based imaging to determine the activity of the compounds. Of the six compounds tested, isomyristicin and bergapten showed significant anthelmintic activity against Schistosoma mansoni and Trichuris muris with bergapten being the most efficacious one against both parasites (S. mansoni IC50 = 8.6 μg/mL and T. muris IC50 = 10.6 μg/mL) and also against schistosomula stage of S. mansoni. These two compounds induced tegumental damage to S. mansoni and affected the cuticle, bacillary bands and bacillary glands of T. muris. The efficacy against multiple phylogenetically distinct parasites and different life stages, especially the schistosomulum where praziquantel is ineffective, makes isomyristicin and bergapten novel scaffolds for broad-spectrum anthelmintic drug development that could be used for the control of helminths infecting humans and animals.

Item ID: 45267
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2045-2322
Additional Information:

Wangchuk, P. et al. Identification of lead chemotherapeutic agents from medicinal plants against blood flukes and whipworms. Sci. Rep. 6, 32101; doi: 10.1038/srep32101 (2016).

© The Author(s) 2016. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit

Funders: National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC), Endeavour Award
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2016 01:17
FoR Codes: 34 CHEMICAL SCIENCES > 3404 Medicinal and biomolecular chemistry > 340401 Biologically active molecules @ 34%
34 CHEMICAL SCIENCES > 3405 Organic chemistry > 340502 Natural products and bioactive compounds @ 33%
34 CHEMICAL SCIENCES > 3401 Analytical chemistry > 340109 Separation science @ 33%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920412 Preventive Medicine @ 100%
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