Molluscicidal activity of plant alkaloids

J Appl Toxicol. 2023 Dec;43(12):1778-1792. doi: 10.1002/jat.4466. Epub 2023 Apr 1.


Some snail species pose a serious threat for human health, economy, and the environment due to their widespread distribution and the transmission of dangerous parasites causing, among others, schistosomiasis and fascioliasis. Scientists from around the world have been studying the effects of plant extracts on snails for many years in order to find an alternative to molluscicides of synthetic origin. The main purpose of this study was to collect the results obtained so far on the effect of plant alkaloids on snails in the context of their molluscicidal properties. This work presents the results of publications on the effect of plant alkaloids on snails, which were published in the years 1974-2021. The Solanaceae, Papaveraceae, and Asteraceae are the plant families most frequently cited for containing alkaloids with molluscicidal activity. The alkaloids identified as molluscicidal belonged to various groups, of which the most numerous were pseudoalkaloids and tyrosine-derived alkaloids. Most of the tested alkaloids were characterized by a high mortality rate among the studied groups of snails. Based on the collected research results, it was found that plant alkaloids can be extremely useful in the fight against problematic species of snails and cause much lower harm to the environment than synthetic molluscicides.

Keywords: alkaloids; molluscicides; plant extracts; slugs; snails.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alkaloids* / toxicity
  • Humans
  • Molluscacides* / toxicity
  • Plant Extracts / toxicity
  • Schistosomiasis* / prevention & control


  • Plant Extracts
  • Alkaloids
  • Molluscacides