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Vet Parasitol. 2011 Apr 19;177(1-2):104-10. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2010.11.039. Epub 2010 Dec 1.

In vivo anthelmintic activity of an aqueous extract from sisal waste (Agave sisalana Perr.) against gastrointestinal nematodes in goats.

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Av. Ademar de Barros, Laboratório de Toxicologia, Escola de Medicina Veterinária, Universidade Federal da Bahia, 40170-110, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil.


The resistance of gastrointestinal nematodes (GINs) of small ruminants to anthelmintics has required the investigation of new alternatives. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the in vivo anthelmintic activity of an aqueous extract from sisal waste (Agave sisalana) (AESW) against GINs in goats and to observe the animals for toxic effects. Thirty animals that were naturally infected with GINs were distributed into three groups: group I, was treated with daily doses of AESW (1.7 g/kg) for eight days; Group II, the positive control, was treated with a single dose of levamisole phosphate (6.3mg/kg); and group III, the negative control, was left untreated. Faecal eggs counts (FECs), coprocultures and post-mortem worm counts were performed to assess the efficacy of the treatments. Clinical and laboratory analyses were performed to evaluate any toxic effects associated with the treatment. In the goats in groups I and II, a significant reduction (p<0.05) of the number of eggs and infective larvae (L(3)) was observed. The maximum reductions of the FECs were 50.3% and 93.6% for groups I and II, respectively, whereas the percent reductions of the total number of L(3) larvae were 80% (group I) and 85.6% (group II). There was no difference between groups I and III with respect to worm burden, and the percent reductions were 28.8% and 63.4% for Oesophagostomum columbianum and Trichostrongylus colubriformis, respectively. No reduction was detected for the Haemonchus contortus. The positive control group demonstrated a 74% reduction of the parasites that were recovered from the digestive tract. There were no changes in clinical and haematological parameters. The levels of serum urea and creatinine were higher in group I, but remained within the normal range. At necropsy, pale mucous membranes, abomasitis and enteritis were associated with parasitism. In addition, a histological analysis of the liver and kidney did not reveal any changes suggestive of toxicity. A chemical analysis of the AESW demonstrated the presence of saponins, which after acid-hydrolyses reaction, gave the sapogenins hecogenin and tigogenin. The AESW had a low efficacy for the parasitic stages and was moderately effective against eggs and free-living stages. Furthermore, the treatment was not toxic to the goats.

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