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Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research

On-line version ISSN 2219-0635
Print version ISSN 0030-2465


SHAI, L.J. et al. Curtisia dentata (Cornaceae) leaf extracts and isolated compounds inhibit motility of parasitic and free-living nematodes. Onderstepoort j. vet. res. [online]. 2009, vol.76, n.2, pp.249-256. ISSN 2219-0635.

Haemonchus contortus and Trichostrongylus colubriformis are among the most important parasitic nematodes of small ruminants. Caenorhabditis elegans, a free-living nematode, is used as a model for evaluating anthelmintic activity of a variety of test substances. Extracts of several medicinal plants are useful in vitro and in vivo against nematode development. Extracts of Curtisia dentata, a South African medicinal plant, and compounds isolated from leaves of this plant were investigated for anthelmintic activity against T. colubriformis, H. contortus and C. elegans. The acetone and dichloromethane extracts were active against all nematodes at concentrations as low as 160 μg/ml. Betulinic acid and lupeol were active against the parasitic nematodes only at the high concentrations of 1 000 and 200 μg/ml, respectively. All compounds were effective against C. elegans with active concentrations as low as 8 μg/ml. Betulinic acid was less active than lupeol and ursolic acid against C. elegans. The acetone and dichloromethane extracts were also active against C. elegans with a concentration of 0.31 mg/ml resulting in almost 80 % inhibition of larval motility. The use of free-living nematodes may provide information on the activity of potential anthelmintics against parasitic nematodes. Extracts of various medicinal plant species may provide solutions to ill-health of small ruminants caused by parasitic nematodes in poor communities of southern Africa.

Keywords : Anthelmintic; betulinic acid; Curtisia dentata; lupeol; ursolic acid.

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