Anthelmintic Effect of Cannabidiol against Echinococcus granulosus sensu stricto

Cystic echinococcosis is a global parasitic zoonosis caused by infection with the larval stage of Echinococcus granulosus sensu lato. Cystic echinococcosis affects more than 1 million people worldwide, causing important economic costs in terms of management and livestock associated losses. Albendazole is the main drug used in treating human cystic echinococcosis. In spite of this, its low aqueous solubility, poor absorption, and consequently erratic bioavailability are the cause of its chemotherapeutic failures. Based on the described problem, new treatment alternatives urgently need to be developed. The aim of the present research was to study the in vitro and in vivo efficacy of cannabidiol (CBD), the second most abundant component of the Cannabis sativa plant, was demonstrated against E. granulosus sensu stricto. CBD (50 µg/mL) caused a decrease in protoscoleces viability of 80 % after 24 h of treatment which was consistent with the observed tegumental alterations. Detachment of the germinal layer was observed in 50 ± 10% of cysts treated with 50 µg/mL of CBD during 24 h. In the clinical efficacy study, all treatments reduced the weight of cysts recovered from mice compared with the control group. However, this reduction was only significant with ABZ suspension and the CBD + ABZ combination. As we could observe by the SEM study, the co-administration of CBD with ABZ suspension caused greater ultrastructural alteration of the germinal layer in comparison with that provoked with the monotherapy. Further in vivo research will be conducted by changing the dose and frequency of CBD and CBD + ABZ treatments and new available CBD delivery systems will also be assayed to improve bioavailability in vivo.


Echinococcus granulosus sensu stricto; cannabidiol; cystic echinococosis; phytomedicine.

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