Effect of cyclosporin A on the survival and ultrastructure of Echinococcus granulosus protoscoleces in vitro

A.L. Colebrook, D.J. Jenkins, M.K. Jones, L. Tatarczuch, M.W. Lightowlers

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24 Citations (Scopus)


hydatid disease.Surgical treatment of human hydatidsosis involves the use of various scolicidal agents to kill infective Echinococcus granulosus protoscoleces that may disseminate into the peritoneal cavity during surgery and potentially re-infect the patient. Currently, no scolicidal agent is completely effective in killing intracystic protoscoleces in humans. Cyclosporin A (CsA) has previously been found to be lethal for E. granulosus protoscoleces in vitro. In this study, we further assessed the effectiveness of CsA as a scolicidal agent by testing the toxic effect of CsA at higher doses over various time-periods. Experiments were performed on activated and unactivated protoscoleces cultured in nutrient medium or sheep hydatid cyst fluid. All activated protoscoleces were killed following culture in 100 mg/ml of CsA for 3 days and 50 or 20 mg/ml for 5 days. The lethal effect of CsA on unactivated protoscoleces varied but reached 100% over 15 days in culture with 100 or 50 mg/ml of CsA. Pulse treatment of protoscoleces with 50, 20 or 10 mg/ml of CsA for 5 min or 72 h killed all parasites by day 10 and day 5 respectively. Untreated protoscoleces remained greater than 95% viable for the duration of experiments. Changes in protoscolex ultrastructure induced by treatment with 10 mg/ml of CsA over 10 days in in vitro culture was assessed by TEM. Protoscolex alterations observed in treated parasites included an increase in cellular vacuolization, swelling of mitochondria, rounding of cells, damage to the tegument, decrease in glycogen, a breakdown of the extracellular matrix and an increase in lipid globules. The untreated protoscoleces, by comparison, had few changes during the 10-day culture period with the exception of large amounts of extracellular glycogen observed in the protoscoleces at culture days 7 and 10. From these results, CsA is clearly an effective scolicidal agent in vitro that may have potential application as a new therapeutic agent in the treatment of human
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-504
Number of pages8
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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