Drug resistance to helminth parasites is one of the most serious problems to threaten the livestock industry. The problem also poses a major threat to public health. Therefore, novel and safe agents should urgently be investigated to control parasitic infections. The current study was conducted to evaluate the possible antiparasitic effects of zinc oxide nanoparticles (ZnO-NPs) on one of the most prevalent gastrointestinal nematodes, Teladorsagia circumcincta. The worms were incubated with various concentrations of ZnO-NPs: 1, 4, 8, 12 and 16 ppm for 24 hours. Mobility and mortality of the parasites were recorded at four-hour intervals. At the endpoint, several biomarkers of oxidative/nitrosative stress, including superoxide dismutase, glutathione peroxidase and catalase, as well as lipid peroxidation, protein carbonylation, total antioxidant status, nitric oxide contents and DNA damage, were measured in the homogenized samples. ZnO-NPs showed significant anthelminthic effects, depending on time and concentration. Furthermore, the nanoparticle induced severe oxidative/nitrosative stress and DNA damage. ZnO-NPs could be considered as a novel and potent anthelminthic agent.
Keywords: DNA damage; Teladorsagia circumcincta; nanoparticles; oxidative stress.