In vitro studies on the effects of flubendazole against Toxocara canis and Ascaris suum

Parasitol Res. 2003 Jan;89(1):63-74. doi: 10.1007/s00436-002-0668-6. Epub 2002 Aug 30.


Adult Toxocara canis and Ascaris suum were incubated in vitro in media containing 0.1, 1, 10 or 100 micro g/ml flubendazole in order to study drug-derived effects. This incubation was done for 8 h and repeated (in some groups) after 24 h for another 8 h. The onset and intensity of flubendazole-derived effects were dosage-dependent and time-dependent, i.e. the same grade of damage was reached when incubating for a longer period at a low dosage or for a shorter period in medium containing a high amount (10 or 100 micro g/ml) of flubendazole. A repeated incubation in drug-containing medium was superior to a single exposure. Flubendazole is apparently able to penetrate into the worm's interior via the cuticle. This became evident in worms with sealed orifices, which showed identical damage to worms which were not sealed. The type of tissue damage due to flubendazole was identical in both worm species when exposed to any of the drug dosages used. The principal mode of action of flubendazole was based on the complete reduction of microtubuli-polymerisation inside the parasite's cells. This apparently led to the complete destruction of the hypodermis, muscle layer and intestine. Flubendazole also stopped the formation of gametes. Summarising, even low concentrations of flubendazole (0.1 micro g/ml) led to significant and irreversible damage in all worms studied.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antinematodal Agents / metabolism
  • Antinematodal Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Antinematodal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Ascariasis / drug therapy*
  • Ascaris suum / cytology
  • Ascaris suum / drug effects*
  • Ascaris suum / ultrastructure
  • Dogs
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Male
  • Mebendazole / analogs & derivatives*
  • Mebendazole / metabolism
  • Mebendazole / pharmacokinetics
  • Mebendazole / pharmacology*
  • Movement
  • Time Factors
  • Toxocara canis / cytology
  • Toxocara canis / drug effects*
  • Toxocara canis / ultrastructure
  • Toxocariasis / drug therapy*


  • Antinematodal Agents
  • Mebendazole
  • flubendazole