Anthelmintic activity in vitro and in vivo of Baccharis trimera (Less) DC against immature and adult worms of Schistosoma mansoni

Exp Parasitol. 2014 Apr:139:63-72. doi: 10.1016/j.exppara.2014.02.010. Epub 2014 Mar 3.


Although its efficiency against all Schistosoma species, praziquantel (PZQ) shows low efficacy against schistosomula and juvenile stages. The potential for development of resistance to PZQ has justified the search for new alternative chemotherapies. In this scenario, studies to new formulations, more comprehensive and without adverse effects, are being conducted. One viable and promising treatment is the study of medicinal plants as a new approach to the experimental treatment for Schistosomiasis. Amongst all the variety of the medicinal species studied, we can highlight Baccharis trimera (Less) DC, known as "Carqueja-amarga". This paper not only describes the effect of crude dichloromethane extract (DE) and aqueous fraction (AF) obtained from B. trimera, in vitro but also is the first one that investigates the in vivo efficacy of B. trimera against schistosomula, juvenile and adult worms of Schistosoma mansoni BH strain. In the experiment, mice were treated with DE, AF and PZQ (40 and 200mg/kg) over the period of larval development (3 and 30 post-infection; pi), and adult worms (60days post-infection; pi). The in vitro results show that the DE and AF effects are dose-dependents, being the 130μg/mL the most effective one in a shorter period of incubation. The exposure of the in vitro samples over adult parasites were able to inhibit 100% of the oviposition in females. Likewise caused the mortality of the parasites with morphological alterations on the tegument, on the suckers, oral and acetabulum, in both males and females after 6-72h of exposure. Additionally, the in vivo treatments against juvenile and adult infection were more effective compared to the control group untreated. Administrations of AF and DE in day 30pi (juvenile worms) show female worm total burden reductions of 75% and 68% respectively. At the same period of infection reductions of respectively 98% and 97% egg/g in the faeces were seen. In relation to the different egg developmental stages (oogram), the results showed significant reductions, due to the reduction in the number of worms, especially the females. In conclusion, B. trimera exhibits major schistosomicidal effects in vivo against immature and adult worms of S. mansoni, opening up perspectives for future researches on substance or compound isolation and the elucidation of its mechanisms of action.

Keywords: Baccharis trimera; Juvenile worms; Natural products; Schistosomiasis; Schistosomicidial activity; Schistosomula; Treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anthelmintics / pharmacology*
  • Anthelmintics / therapeutic use
  • Anthelmintics / toxicity
  • Baccharis / chemistry*
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Feces / parasitology
  • Female
  • Liver / parasitology
  • Liver / pathology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Parasite Egg Count
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Plant Extracts / toxicity
  • Praziquantel / pharmacology
  • Praziquantel / therapeutic use
  • Schistosoma mansoni / drug effects*
  • Schistosoma mansoni / ultrastructure
  • Schistosomiasis mansoni / drug therapy*
  • Schistosomiasis mansoni / parasitology
  • Schistosomiasis mansoni / pathology
  • Vero Cells


  • Anthelmintics
  • Plant Extracts
  • Praziquantel