EQUUS - - Eq Medicalfro­nt -

The search for new de­worm­ing agents in the face of grow­ing chem­i­cal re­sis­tance has re­searchers look­ing to the su­per­mar­ket pro­duce aisle: A pre­lim­i­nary study from Eng­land sug­gests that fruits such as pineap­ple, pa­paya and figs may be use­ful in con­trol­ling in­ter­nal horses.

Build­ing on the knowl­edge that en­zymes in these fruits called cys­teine pro­teinases can di­gest adult worms, re­searchers at the Univer­sity of Liver­pool ex­posed par­a­sites at var­i­ous stages of devel­op­ment to pa­paya ex­tract. They dis­cov­ered that—in a lab­o­ra­tory set­ting, at least—ex­po­sure to the ex­tract in­hib­ited the hatch­ing of par­a­site eggs and the move­ment of in­fec­tive lar­val stages in small red worms (cy­athos­tomins).

The re­searchers note that while the in­hib­ited hatch­ing ap­peared di­rectly re­lated to cys­teine pro­teinases, the in­hi­bi­tion of lar­val stages may be the func­tion of a sec­ondary com­pound present in the ex­tract.

They call for fur­ther stud­ies to eval­u­ate the ef­fi­cacy of these fruits and their en­zymes against var­i­ous stages of par­a­site devel­op­ment, in both the lab­o­ra­tory and a real-world set­ting.

Ref­er­ence: “Pa­paya la­tex su­per­natant has a po­tent ef­fect on the free-liv­ing stages of equid cy­athos­tomins in vitro,” Ve­teri­nary Par­a­sitol­ogy, Septem­ber 2016


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