Scolicidal Effects of Black Cumin Seed (Nigella sativa) Essential Oil on Hydatid Cysts

Mahmoudvand H, Dezaki ES, Kheirandish F, Ezatpour B, Jahanbakhsh S, Harandi MF
The Korean Journal of Parasitology, 2014


Surgery remains the preferred treatment for hydatid cyst (cystic echinococcosis, CE). Various scolicidal agents have been used for inactivation of protoscolices during surgery, but most of them are associated with adverse side effects. The present study aimed to evaluate the in vitro scolicidal effect of Nigella sativa (Ranunculaceae) essential oil and also its active principle, thymoquinone, against protoscolices of hydatid cysts. Protoscolices were aseptically aspirated from sheep livers having hydatid cysts. Various concentrations of the essential oil (0.01-10 mg/ml) and thymoquinone (0.125-1.0 mg/ml) were used for 5 to 60 min. Viability of protoscolices was confirmed by 0.1% eosin staining. Furthermore, the components of the N. sativa essential oil were identified by gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy (GC/MS). Our study revealed that the essential oil of N. sativa at the concentration of 10 mg/ml and its main component, thymoquinone, at the concentration of 1 mg/ml had potent scolicidal activities against protoscolices of Echinococcus granulosus after 10 min exposure. Moreover, thymoquinone (42.4%), p-cymene (14.1%), carvacrol (10.3%), and longifolene (6.1%) were found to be the major components of N. sativa essential oil by GC/MS analysis. The results of this study indicated the potential of N. sativa as a natural source for production of a new scolicidal agent for use in hydatid cyst surgery. However, further studies will be needed to confirm these results by checking the essential oil and its active component in in vivo models.


Mahmoudvand H, Dezaki ES, Kheirandish F, et al. Scolicidal Effects of Black Cumin Seed (Nigella sativa) Essential Oil on Hydatid Cysts. Korean J Parasitol. 2014;52(6):653-659.

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