In vitro efficacy of the essential oil of Piper cubeba L. (Piperaceae) against Schistosoma mansoni

Parasitol Res. 2012 May;110(5):1747-54. doi: 10.1007/s00436-011-2695-7. Epub 2011 Oct 19.


In this paper, cercariae, schistosomula, and adult Schistosoma mansoni worms were incubated in vitro with the essential oil of Piper cubeba (PC-EO) at concentrations from 12.5 to 200 μg/mL, and the viability was evaluated using an inverted microscopy. The effects of PC-EO at 100 and 200 μg/mL on the stages of S. mansoni were similar to those of the positive control (PZQ at 12.5 μg/mL), with total absence of mobility after 120 h. However, at concentrations from 12.5 to 50 μg/mL, PC-EO caused a reduction in the viability of cercariae and schistosomula when compared with the negative control groups (RPMI 1640 or dechlorinated water) or (RPMI 1640 + 0.1% DMSO or dechlorinated water + 0.1% DMSO). On the other hand, adult S. mansoni worms remained normally active when incubated with PC-EO at concentrations of 12.5 and 25 μg/mL, and their viabilities were similar to those of the negative control groups. In addition, at concentrations ranging from 50 to 200 μg/mL, separation of all the coupled adult worms was observed after 24 h of incubation, which is related to the fact of the reduction in egg production at this concentration. The main chemical constituents of PC-EO were identified by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry as being sabinene (19.99%), eucalyptol (11.87%), 4-terpineol (6.36%), β-pinene (5.81%), camphor (5.61%), and δ-3-carene (5.34%). The cytotoxicity of the PC-EO was determined, and a significant cytotoxicity was only obtained in the concentration of 200 μg/mL after 24 h treatment. The results suggest that PC-EO possesses an effect against cercariae, schistosomula, and adult worms of the S. mansoni.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anthelmintics / chemistry
  • Anthelmintics / isolation & purification
  • Anthelmintics / pharmacology*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Locomotion / drug effects
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Oils, Volatile / chemistry
  • Oils, Volatile / isolation & purification
  • Oils, Volatile / pharmacology*
  • Piper / chemistry*
  • Schistosoma mansoni / drug effects*
  • Survival Analysis


  • Anthelmintics
  • Oils, Volatile