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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2007 Oct;275(2):292-300. Epub 2007 Sep 7.

Effects of three benzimidazoles on growth, general morphology and ultrastructure of Tritrichomonas foetus.

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Laboratório de Microscopia e Processamento de Imagens, Instituto de Biologia Prof. Roberto Alcântara Gomes - Departamento de Histologia e Embriologia, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.


Tritrichomonas foetus is a venereal pathogen of cattle, which causes infertility, early embryonic death or abortion. In order to evaluate the potential trichomonicidal activity of benzimidazoles, the effects of thiabendazole, mebendazole and albendazole were analyzed on the multiplication, general morphology and ultrastructure of T. foetus. It was found that mebendazole presented the highest IC(50%) (2.3 microM), when compared with albendazole (IC(50%)=9.4 microM) and thiabendazole (IC(50%)=142.6 microM), and that such effects were irreversible. Concerning microscopic analysis, thiabendazole- and mebendazole-treated cells presented increased volume, internalization of the flagella, disruption or multiplication of the nucleus, multiple organelles and cytoplasmic vacuolization. Albendazole-treated cells exhibited slight alterations, because the parasite became slightly rounded, its flagella were not internalized but the cytoplasm was vacuolated. Mebendazole was indeed highly effective as an in vitro trichomonicidal agent, and this might open up new possibilities for the use of mebendazole in the therapy of bovine trichomoniasis.

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