Parasiticidal effects of Morus alba root bark extracts against Ichthyophthirius multifiliis infecting grass carp

Dis Aquat Organ. 2014 Feb 19;108(2):129-36. doi: 10.3354/dao02708.


Ichthyophthirius multifiliis (Ich), an important fish parasite, can cause significant losses in aquaculture. To find efficacious drugs to control Ich, the root bark of white mulberry Morus alba was evaluated for its antiprotozoal activity. Bark was powdered and extracted with 1 of 5 organic solvents: petroleum ether, chloroform, ethyl acetate, acetone, or methanol. The extracts were concentrated, dissolved in 0.1% (v/v) DMSO, and used for anti-Ich trials. Acetone and ethyl acetate extracts significantly reduced the survival of Ich tomonts and theronts. In vitro, acetone extract at 25 mg l-1 killed all non-encysted tomonts, at 50 mg l-1 eradicated all encysted tomonts, and at 8 mg l-1 caused mortality of all theronts. Ethyl acetate extract at 50 mg l-1 eliminated all non-encysted tomonts, at 100 mg l-1 killed all encysted tomonts and terminated tomont reproduction, and at 8 mg l-1 killed all theronts. Low concentrations (2 and 4 mg l-1) of acetone and ethyl acetate extracts could not kill all theronts after 4 h exposure, but a significant decrease in theront infectivity was observed following 30 min of pretreatment with the extracts. The 96 h LC(50) values of acetone and ethyl acetate extracts to grass carp were 79.46 and 361.05 mg l-1, i.e. much higher than effective doses for killing Ich theronts (8 mg l-1 for both extracts) and non-encysted tomonts (12.5 and 25 mg l-1, respectively). Thus M. alba extract may be a potential new, safe, and efficacious drug to control Ich.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiprotozoal Agents / adverse effects
  • Antiprotozoal Agents / chemistry
  • Antiprotozoal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Carps*
  • Ciliophora*
  • Fish Diseases / microbiology*
  • Morus / chemistry*
  • Plant Bark / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / adverse effects
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use*
  • Plant Roots / chemistry
  • Protozoan Infections, Animal / drug therapy*
  • Protozoan Infections, Animal / parasitology


  • Antiprotozoal Agents
  • Plant Extracts