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In vitro and in vivo anthelmintic efficacy of plant cysteine proteinases against the rodent gastrointestinal nematode, Trichuris muris

Stepek, G., Lowe, A.E., Buttle, D.J., Duce, I.R. and Behnke, J.M. (2006) In vitro and in vivo anthelmintic efficacy of plant cysteine proteinases against the rodent gastrointestinal nematode, Trichuris muris. Parasitology, 132 (5). pp. 681-689. ISSN 0031-1820


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We examined the mechanism of action and compared the anthelmintic efficacy of cysteine proteinases from papaya, pineapple, fig, kiwi fruit and Egyptian milkweed in vitro using the rodent gastrointestinal nematode Heligmosomoides polygyrus. Within a 2 h incubation period, all the cysteine proteinases, with the exception of the kiwi fruit extract, caused marked damage to the cuticle of H. polygyrus adult male and female worms, reflected in the loss of surface cuticular layers.

Efficacy was comparable for both sexes of worms, was dependent on the presence of cysteine and was completely inhibited by the cysteine proteinase inhibitor, E-64. LD50 values indicated that the purified proteinases were more efficacious than the proteinases in the crude latex, with purified ficin, papain, chymopapain, Egyptian milkweed latex extract and pineapple fruit extract, containing fruit bromelain, having the most potent effect. The mechanism of action of these plant enzymes (i.e. an attack on the protective cuticle of the worm) suggests that resistance would be slow to develop in the field. The efficacy and mode of action make plant cysteine proteinases potential candidates for a novel class of anthelmintics urgently required for the treatment of humans and domestic livestock.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2006 Cambridge University Press. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Keywords: plant cysteine proteinases, papaya, fig, pineapple, kiwi fruit, gastrointestinal nematodes, anthelmintic, Trichuris muris
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health (Sheffield) > School of Medicine (Sheffield) > Division of Genomic Medicine (Sheffield) > Section of Functional Genomics (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Repository Assistant
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2006
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2014 20:08
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S003118200500973X
Status: Published
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1017/S003118200500973X
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/1591

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