Literature Review

Plants and their medicinal potential for controling gastrointestinal nematodes in ruminants

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Abstract:

Gastrointestinal nematodes (GINs) is one of the main sanitary problems of ruminant herds, causing large economic losses to breeders. Chemical control continues to be the main measure used to combat GINs, but as resistant parasite populations spread, the efficiency of this method is becoming impaired. In light of this situation, alternative ways to control verminosis are gaining importance. Among these, phytotherapy has attracted particular attention. This review presents the current status of research on phytotherapeutic agents, their difficulties and perspectives. Plants with nematicidal activity are a potential source of chemical substances, including new molecules, that can be used to control GINs in ruminants. The principal difficulty of research into phytotherapic substances is to identify the bioactive compounds, because in many cases in vitro tests have shown promising results, but in vivo test results have been disappointing. Among the causes is host-drug interaction. Therefore, more careful choice of plants with anthelmintic potential by adoption of a standardized system to analyze the results of in vitro testing, combined with better understanding of the synergistic relations among metabolites and the adjustment of methods for in vivo testing, can make phytotherapy for control of GINs more effective.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Plants with anthelmintic activity may have potential sources of chemical substances that can be used to control gastrointestinal nematodes in ruminants.
  • The main difficulty of the research with herbal medicines is the lack of in vitro and in vivo correlation with phytotherapic substances activities.
  • Better understanding the interactions between metabolites and the use of appropriate methodologies to evaluate phytotherapics, may contribute to in vivo results.

Keywords:

phytotherapy, tannins, flavonoids, saponins, verminosis, nematodes.


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