Despite the overall progress of sheep farming in Brazil, infections with the gastrointestinal parasite Haemonchus contortus represent one the most important problems in sheep production, aggravated by the increasing resistance of nematodes to traditional anthelmintic drugs caused by inadequate sheep flock management by breeders. Ethnopharmacological data indicate Annona muricata as a promising alternative for the control of gastrointestinal nematodes because of its general anthelmintic properties. The aim of this work was to evaluate the in vitro anthelmintic effects of A. muricata aqueous leaf extract against eggs, infective larvae and adult forms of parasitic nematode H. contortus. At higher doses, A. muricata extract showed 84.91% and 89.08% of efficacy in egg hatch test (EHT) and larval motility test (LMT), respectively. In the adult worm motility test, worms were completely immobilized within the first 6-8h of nematode exposition to different dilutions of extract. Phytochemical analysis indicated the presence of phenolic compounds in A. muricata aqueous leaf extract that may be responsible for the anthelmintic effects observed. Moreover those results validate the traditional use of A. muricata as a natural anthelmintic and then the pharmacological potential of its compounds for future in vivo investigations.
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