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Korean J Parasitol. 2008 Sep;46(3):153-6. doi: 10.3347/kjp.2008.46.3.153.

Inhibitory effects of Iranian Thymus vulgaris extracts on in vitro growth of Entamoeba histolytica.

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Laboratory Complex, Science and Reserach Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran.


One of the most common drugs used against a wide variety of anaerobic protozoan parasites is metronidazole. However, this drug is mutagenic for bacteria and is a potent carcinogen for rodents. Thymus vulgaris is used for cough suppression and relief of dyspepsia. Also it has antibacterial and antifungal properties. The aim of this study was to investigate antiamebic effect of Thymus vulgaris against Entamoeba histolytica in comparison with metronidazole. One hundred gram air-dried T. vulgaris plant was obtained and macerated at 25 degrees C for 14 days using n-hexane and a mixture of ethanol and water. For essential oil isolation T. vulgaris was subjected to hydrodistillation using a clevenger-type apparatus for 3 hr. E. histolytica, HM-1: IMSS strain was used in all experiments. It was found that the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) for T. vulgaris hydroalcoholic, hexanic extracts, and the essential oil after 24 hr was 4 mg/mL, 4 mg/mL, and 0.7 mg/mL, respectively. After 48 hr the MIC for T. vulgaris hydroalcoholic and hexanic extracts was 3 and 3 mg/mL, respectively. Therefore, it can be concluded that the Iranian T. vulgaris is effective against the trophozoites of E. histolytica.

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