Essential oils of Varronia curassavica accessions have different activity against white spot disease in freshwater fish

Parasitol Res. 2018 Jan;117(1):97-105. doi: 10.1007/s00436-017-5673-x. Epub 2017 Nov 8.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the antiprotozoal activity of essential oils from Varronia curassavica accessions against different stages of Ichthyophthirius multifiliis. Essential oils from each accession were tested in vitro at the concentrations 0, 10, 25, 50, 75, 100, and 200 mg/L. The VCUR-001, VCUR-202, VCUR-509, and VCUR-601 accessions presented the major compounds α-pinene, germacrene D-4-ol, (E)-caryophyllene and epiglobulol, and sabinene, respectively. These isolated compounds were tested in vitro at a concentration proportional to that found in the essential oil which caused 100% mortality of the parasite. The concentrations of 10 and 50 mg/L of the essential oil of accession VCUR-202 provided 100% mortality of trophonts and tomonts, respectively. For the accession VCUR-509, 100% mortality of trophonts and tomonts was observed at concentrations 75 and 200 mg/L of essential oil, respectively. The same mortality was observed at concentration 200 mg/L in both stages of the parasite for the other accessions. The major compounds α-pinene, sabinene, and the (E)-caryophyllene + epiglobulol mixture caused 100% mortality of trophonts and tomonts. The in vivo assay for white spot disease control was performed in a therapeutic bath of 1 h with the essential oil of accession VCUR-202 at concentrations of 0.5 and 2.0 mg/L. A significant reduction of about 30% of trophonts on infected fish was observed, independent of the oil concentration. The V. curassavica essential oil, especially the VCUR-202 accession, is a potential source of raw material for the formulation and commercialization of bioproducts to control freshwater white spot disease in fish.

Keywords: Aquaculture; Erva-baleeira; Ichthyophthirius multifiliis; Major compounds; Volatile oil.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiprotozoal Agents / isolation & purification
  • Antiprotozoal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Characiformes / parasitology*
  • Ciliophora Infections / drug therapy
  • Ciliophora Infections / veterinary*
  • Cordia / chemistry*
  • Fish Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Fish Diseases / parasitology
  • Hymenostomatida*
  • Oils, Volatile / therapeutic use*
  • Plant Oils / therapeutic use


  • Antiprotozoal Agents
  • Oils, Volatile
  • Plant Oils