Effect of myrrh and thyme on Trichinella spiralis enteral and parenteral phases with inducible nitric oxide expression in mice

Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 2015 Dec;110(8):1035-41. doi: 10.1590/0074-02760150295. Epub 2015 Dec 11.


Trichinellosis is a serious disease with no satisfactory treatment. We aimed to assess the effect of myrrh (Commiphora molmol) and, for the first time, thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.) against enteral and encysted (parenteral) phases of Trichinella spiralis in mice compared with albendazole, and detect their effect on inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) expression. Oral administration of 500 mg/kg of myrrh and thyme led to adult reduction (90.9%, 79.4%), while 1,000 mg/kg led to larvae reduction (79.6%, 71.3%), respectively. Administration of 50 mg/kg of albendazole resulted in adult and larvae reduction (94.2%, 90.9%). Positive immunostaining of inflammatory cells infiltrating intestinal mucosa and submucosa of all treated groups was detected. Myrrh-treated mice showed the highest iNOS expression followed by albendazole, then thyme. On the other hand, both myrrh and thyme-treated groups showed stronger iNOS expression of inflammatory cells infiltrating and surrounding encapsulated T. spiralis larvae than albendazole treated group. In conclusion, myrrh and thyme extracts are highly effective against both phases of T. spiralis and showed strong iNOS expressions, especially myrrh which could be a promising alternative drug. This experiment provides a basis for further exploration of this plant by isolation and retesting the active principles of both extracts against different stages of T. spiralis.

MeSH terms

  • Albendazole / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Antinematodal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Line
  • Commiphora / chemistry
  • Fibroblasts / drug effects
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Intestine, Small / parasitology
  • Larva / drug effects
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Muscle, Skeletal / parasitology
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II / metabolism*
  • Terpenes / pharmacology*
  • Thymus Plant*
  • Trichinella spiralis / drug effects*
  • Trichinella spiralis / enzymology


  • Antinematodal Agents
  • Terpenes
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase Type II
  • Albendazole
  • myrrh oil