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Parasitol Res. 2016 Jul;115(7):2863-71. doi: 10.1007/s00436-016-5041-2. Epub 2016 Apr 20.

Effects of Thymus vulgaris ethanolic extract on chronic toxoplasmosis in a mouse model.

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Parasitology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Benha University, Benha, 13518, Egypt.
Parasitology Department, Faculty of Medicine, Benha University, Benha, 13518, Egypt.
Parasitology Department, Research Institute of Ophthalmology, Giza, Egypt.


The current work was undertaken to investigate the potential effectiveness of Thymus vulgaris ethanolic extract (TVE) against Toxoplasma gondii infection in chronic experimental toxoplasmosis. To evaluate prophylactic effects, mice received 500 mg/kg TVE for 5 days before they were infected by an avirulent Me49 T. gondii strain. To investigate the therapeutic effects of the extract postinfection, daily treatment with TVE was initiated at 6 weeks postinfection and continued for 10 days. The following groups of animals were used as controls: uninfected/non-treated, infected/non-treated, and infected/treated with a combination of pyrimethamine and sulfadiazine. Brain cyst count and histopathological changes using H&E and Feulgen stains were used to evaluate the efficacy of TVE. The mean number of brain cysts was significantly decreased by 24 % in mice treated prophylactically with TVE. TVE also significantly reduced the mean number of brain cysts when administered to animals already chronically infected with T. gondii. The effect of TVE was comparable to that of treatment with a mixture of sulfadiazine and pyrimethamine (46 and 51 % reduction, respectively). Moreover, considerable amelioration of the pathological lesions in the brain and retina was observed. The results demonstrate the potential efficacy of T. vulgaris as a new natural therapeutic and prophylactic agent for use in the treatment of chronic toxoplasmosis.


In vivo; Prophylactic; Therapeutic; Thymus vulgaris; Toxoplasmosis

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