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Int J Parasitol. 1994 Aug;24(5):695-703.

Evaluation of the effects of albendazole and metronidazole on the ultrastructure of Giardia duodenalis, Trichomonas vaginalis and Spironucleus muris using transmission electron microscopy.

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School of Veterinary Studies, Murdoch University, Australia.


The three closely related parasitic protozoa, Giardia duodenalis, Trichomonas vaginalis and Spironucleus muris, all have very different sensitivities to albendazole and metronidazole. Ultrastructural studies reveal that the cytoskeletal elements of the ventral disk in G. duodenalis are affected by albendazole, whereas the other two parasites, neither of which possess this structure, are not affected by albendazole to the same extent. This suggests that albendazole may be having its primary affect on G. duodenalis by binding to cytoskeletal proteins and ultimately causing death of the parasite. Death may be occurring as the parasite loses its ability to adhere to the intestinal villi and obtain nutrients. Metronidazole showed a different pattern of activity against the three parasites. The evidence obtained from these ultrastructural studies supports the current theory that metronidazole adversely affects protozoa by disrupting inner cell membranes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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