Anthelmintic efficacy of cranberry vine extracts on ovine Haemonchus contortus

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The discovery that plant secondary compounds, including proanthocyanidins (PAC), suppress gastrointestinal nematode (GIN) infection has provided promise for alternative methods of GIN control in small ruminants. This investigation is the first to examine the anthelmintic potential of cranberry vine (CV) against the GIN Haemonchus contortus. The purpose of this study was to explore the anti-parasitic activity of CV in the form of a specific organic proanthocyanidin extract (CV-PAC) and an aqueous extract (CV-AqE) containing PAC and other compounds. In vitro egg hatching, first (L1) and third (L3) stage larval and adult worm motility and L3 exsheathment were evaluated after a 24-h incubation with CV products. In addition, CV treated worms were observed via scanning electron microscopy, and a preliminary investigation of the efficacy of CV powder against an experimental infection of H. contortus was conducted. The in vivo effect on an experimental infection was determined by administering 21.1 g CV powder to lambs (n = 9 per group) for three consecutive days, and collecting fecal egg count data for four weeks post-treatment. The effect of CV-PAC on egg hatching, L3 motility and exsheathment was limited. However, a substantial effect was observed on motility of post-hatch L1 (EC50 0.3 mg PAC/mL) and adults (EC50 0.2 mg PAC/mL). The CV-AqE showed more effect on egg hatching (EC50 5.3 mg/mL containing 0.6 mg PAC/mL) as well as impacting motility of L1 (EC50 1.5 mg/mL with 0.2 mg PAC/mL) and adults (EC50 3.4 mg/mL with 0.4 mg PAC/mL), but like CV-PAC, did not substantially effect L3 motility or exsheathment. Scanning electron microscopy revealed an accumulation of aggregate on the cuticle around the buccal area of adult worms incubated in CV-AqE and CV-PAC. In the preliminary in vivo study, there was a significant effect of treatment over time (p =.04), although differences in individual weeks were not significant. In summary, both extracts inhibited motility of L1 and adult worms. The higher efficacy of CV-AqE than CV-PAC at levels that contained the same concentrations of PAC tested alone, suggest that other secondary compounds in the CV-AqE contributed to the observed effects on the parasites. This first study of the in vitro and in vivo effects of CV suggest that this readily available plant product may have utility in integrated control of H. contortus and support the need for additional testing to provide further information.

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Veterinary Parasitology