In vitro and in vivo anthelmintic effect of essential oil obtained from Thymus capitatus flowers against Haemonchus contortus and Heligmosomoides polygyrus

Exp Parasitol. 2024 Jul:262:108778. doi: 10.1016/j.exppara.2024.108778. Epub 2024 May 11.


Sheep haemonchosis is a disease that causes serious losses in livestock production, particularly with the increase of cases of anthelmintic resistance around the world. This justifies the urgent need of alternative solutions. The aim of this study was to determine the chemical profile, in vitro, and, in vivo, anthelmintic properties of Thymus capitatus essential oil. To evaluate the, in vitro, anthelmintic activity of the T. capitatus EO on Haemonchus contortus, two tests were used: egg hatch assay (EHA) and adult worm motility (AWM) assay. The nematicidal effect of this oil was evaluated, in vivo, in mice infected artificially with Heligmosomoides polygyrus using faecal egg count reduction (FECR) and total worm count reduction (TWCR). Chromatographic characterization of T.capitatus composition using gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS) demonstrated the presence of carvacrol (81.16%), as the major constituents. The IC50 values obtained was 1.9 mg/mL in the EHT. In the AWM assay; T. capitatus essential oil achieved 70.8% inhibition at 1 mg/mL after 8 h incubation. The in vivo, evaluation on H. polygyrus revealed a significant nematicidal effect 7 days post-treatment by inducing 49.5% FECR and 64.5% TWCR, using the highest dose (1600 mg/kg). The results of present study, demonstrate that T.capitatus EO possess a significant anthelmintic properties. Furthermore, it could be an alternative source of anthelmintic agents against gastrointestinal infections caused by H. contortus.

Keywords: Anthelmintic; Haemonchus contortus; Heligmosmoides polygyrus; Thymus capitatus.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anthelmintics* / chemistry
  • Anthelmintics* / isolation & purification
  • Anthelmintics* / pharmacology
  • Anthelmintics* / therapeutic use
  • Cymenes
  • Feces* / parasitology
  • Female
  • Flowers* / chemistry
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry*
  • Haemonchiasis* / drug therapy
  • Haemonchiasis* / parasitology
  • Haemonchiasis* / veterinary
  • Haemonchus* / drug effects
  • Inhibitory Concentration 50
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Monoterpenes / chemistry
  • Monoterpenes / isolation & purification
  • Monoterpenes / pharmacology
  • Nematospiroides dubius* / drug effects
  • Oils, Volatile* / chemistry
  • Oils, Volatile* / isolation & purification
  • Oils, Volatile* / pharmacology
  • Parasite Egg Count* / veterinary
  • Sheep
  • Sheep Diseases / drug therapy
  • Sheep Diseases / parasitology
  • Strongylida Infections* / drug therapy
  • Strongylida Infections* / parasitology
  • Strongylida Infections* / veterinary
  • Thymus Plant* / chemistry


  • Oils, Volatile
  • Anthelmintics
  • Monoterpenes
  • carvacrol
  • Cymenes