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Parasitol Int. 2004 Dec;53(4):287-91.

Anthelmintic efficacy of genistein, the active principle of Flemingia vestita (Fabaceae): alterations in the free amino acid pool and ammonia levels in the fluke, Fasciolopsis buski.

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Department of Zoology, North Eastern Hill University, Shillong-793022, India.


The crude root-peel extract of Flemingia vestita, its active principle genistein and the reference flukicide oxyclozanide were tested against Fasciolopsis buski, the giant intestinal trematode. The amino acid composition of F. buski was demonstrated using HPLC and it was observed that the free amino acid (FAA) pool of the control worm consisted of aspartate, threonine, serine, glutamic acid, glutamine, proline, glycine, alanine, valine, methionine, isoleucine, leucine, tyrosine, lysine, histidine, arginine, phosphoserine, taurine, citrulline, ornithine, beta-alanine, and gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA). Of the amino acids detected valine was found to be the maximum in quantitative analysis. In qualitative analysis the FAA pool of the parasites under various treatments remained same as that of the control; however, quantitatively the level of various FAAs in the parasite was significantly affected. The treated parasites showed a marked decrease in the levels of arginine, ornithine, tyrosine, leucine, isoleucine, valine, alanine, glycine, proline, serine, threonine, and taurine following treatment with 20 mg/ml of crude peel extract, 0.5 mg/ml of genistein and 20 mg/ml of the reference drug, though an increase in the levels of glutamic acid, glutamine, phosphoserine, citrulline and GABA was noticeable. Enhanced levels of GABA and citrulline under the influence of genistein may be implicated in alterations of nitric oxide release and consequent neurological change (e.g. paralysis) in the parasite. Ammonia in the tissue homogenate as well as in the incubation medium showed a quantitative increase compared to the controls after treatment with the various test materials. The ammonia level increased by 40.7%, 66.4% and 18.16% in treatments with F. vestita, genistein and oxyclozanide, respectively, at the mentioned dosages. The changes in the levels of the amino acids and nitrogen components post treatment suggest that the amino acid metabolism in the parasite may have been altered under the influence of the test materials.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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