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Cystic Echinococcosis and Host Interleukin-2, Interleukin-9 and Interleukin-10 as Biomarkers for Evaluation of Albendazole and Praziquantel Treatment in Experimentally Infected Mice

Author(s): K. J. S. Khoshnaw* AND H. M. A. Al-Sakee
Department of Basic Science, College of Medicine, Hawler Medical University, Erbil, Iraq

Correspondence Address:
K. J. S. Khoshnaw, Department of Basic Science, College of Medicine, Hawler Medical University, Erbil, Iraq, E-mail:

Echinococcus granulosus sensu lato larvae cause cystic echinococcosis, a highly contagious zoonotic illness that poses a worldwide threat to human health and development. The purpose of this study was to determine the therapeutic effectiveness of albendazole and praziquantel, each alone and in combination, in vivo and to estimate the serum levels of interleukin-2, interleukin-9 and interleukin-10 as biomarkers in evaluating the responsiveness to albendazole and praziquantel treatment in experimentally infected mice. To assess treatment efficacy in vivo, mice were intraperitoneally inoculated with viable protoscolices and then gavaged daily for 1 mo with albendazole (15 mg/kg/d) and praziquantel (25 mg/kg/d), separately and in combination (albendazole 15 mg/kg/d and praziquantel 25 mg/kg/d. The mice were euthanized on d 120 of the experiment and the number, size and location of the generated secondary hydatid cysts were investigated and serum levels of interleukin-2, interleukin-9 and interleukin-10 were estimated. The size and number of hydatid cysts were decreased upon treatment with each drug, but the decrease was significant (p<0.05) in isolates 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9 and 10, and 2 and 3, respectively. The most often infected organ was the liver (44.91 %), followed by a peritoneal cavity (30.3 %), subcutaneous (21.1 %), spleen (3.29 %) and lungs (0.38 %). Interleukin-2 level was significantly elevated in mice inoculating with most parasite isolates, whereas interleukin-9 and interleukin-10 levels were not altered considerably experimentally in infected and treated mice compared with untreated control. Albendazole and praziquantel markedly reduced the number and size of secondary hydatid cysts compared to the untreated control group in Echinococcus granulosus-infected mice and stimulated the production of interleukin-2, which is helpful for parasite elimination. These results indicate that albendazole and praziquantel have protoscolicidal effects and the combination of albendazole and praziquantel has significant additive effects.

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