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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 52-59

The effect of Nigella sativa aqueous extract on Dientamoeba fragilis: an in vivo experimental study

1 Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Suez Canal University, Ismailia, Egypt
2 Department of Tropical Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Veterinary Medicine, Suez Canal University, Ismailia, Egypt
3 Department of Pathology, Veterinary Medicine, Suez Canal University, Ismailia, Egypt

Correspondence Address:
Omima M Eida
Assistant Professor of Parasitology, Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Suez Canal University, Ismailia 41522
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1687-7942.163409

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Background Dientamoeba fragilis was considered as a commensal amoeba that inhabits the large intestine. Later, its association with irritable bowel syndrome drew attention to its pathogenicity. Metronidazole (MTZ) is the most recommended drug for treatment of D. fragilis and other pathogenic intestinal protozoa. Many studies reported that it is not suitable for children because of its mutagenicity and carcinogenic potential. However, still more work is needed to establish new, effective, and safe therapeutic agents against D. fragilis. Aim of the work The present study aimed at evaluating the effect of different doses of the aqueous extract of Nigella sativa on D. fragilis in experimentally infected mice in comparison with MTZ as a standard drug. Materials and methods Isolates of D. fragilis were obtained from patients complaining of acute/chronic intermittent diarrhea or diarrhea alternating with constipation with/without abdominal pain. Histopathological examination of cecal tissue of experimentally infected and treated mice with three different doses of N. sativa (125, 250, and 500 mg/kg/day) was compared with that of mice infected and treated by two doses of MTZ (62.5 and 125 mg/kg/day) as the standard treatment. Infected untreated mice were used as the control group. Results Histopathological examination of cecal tissue of the infected untreated group showed different degrees of pathological changes, which completely disappeared with the highest N. sativa dose (500 mg/kg). Concentrations below 500 mg/kg produced less severe pathological changes than in untreated animals. N. sativa in high dose significantly prevented cytopathic effect in mice 1 day after infection and for five consecutive days. Conclusion N. sativa has a potential therapeutic effect against D. fragilis infection in an experimental in vivo study. We recommend double-blind controlled clinical trials in humans to assess the use of N. sativa in management of human D. fragilis infection.

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