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Parasitol Res. 2014 Jan;113(1):275-83. doi: 10.1007/s00436-013-3654-2. Epub 2013 Oct 31.

Inhibitory effect of allicin on the growth of Babesia and Theileria equi parasites.

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National Research Center for Protozoan Diseases, Obihiro University of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Inada-cho, Obihiro, Hokkaido, 080-8555, Japan.


Allicin is an active ingredient of garlic that has antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antiprotozoal activity. However, the inhibitory effects of allicin on Babesia parasites have not yet been examined. In the present study, allicin was tested as a potent inhibitor against the in vitro growth of bovine and equine Babesia parasites and the in vivo growth of Babesia microti in a mouse model. The in vitro growth of Babesia bovis, Babesia bigemina, Babesia caballi, or Theileria equi was inhibited by allicin in a dose-dependent manner and had IC50 values of 818, 675, 470, and 742 μM, respectively. Moreover, allicin significantly inhibited (P < 0.001) invasion of B. bovis, B. bigemina, B. caballi, and T. equi into the host erythrocyte. Furthermore, mice treated with 30 mg/kg of allicin for 5 days significantly (P < 0.05) reduced the parasitemia of B. microti over the period of the study. To further examine the potential synergism of allicin with diminazene aceturate, growth inhibitory assays were performed in vitro and in vivo. Interestingly, combinations of diminazene aceturate with allicin synergistically potentiated its inhibitory effects in vitro and in vivo. These results indicate that allicin might be beneficial for the treatment of babesiosis, particularly when used in combination with diminazene aceturate.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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