Anthelmintic activity of antioxidants: In vitro effects on the liver fluke opisthorchis felineus

Viatcheslav A. Mordvinov, Denis V. Ponomarev, Yuri V. Pakharukov, Maria Y. Pakharukova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Currently, molecular parasitologists are searching for new agents against trematodiases. Redox metabolism is important for parasites as far as long-lived adult parasites inside a mammalian host are exposed to redox challenges. Antioxidants have been poorly studied as anthelmintic agents, in particular against the foodborne trematodes. Study of in vitro anthelmintic activity of nonenzymatic natural and synthetic antioxidants of various chemical structures was performed using standard motility and mortality assays against juvenile and adult Opisthorchis felineus worms. Promising agents have been found among both natural and synthetic compounds. The mitochondriatargeted antioxidant SkQ1 [10-(6-plastoquinonyl)decyltriphenylphosphonium] in motility assays was as effective (half-maximal inhibitory concentration [IC50 ] 0.6–1.4 µM) as praziquantel (IC50 0.47–1.4 µM), and SkQ1 was significantly more effective than praziquantel in mortality assays. Moreover, extensive tegument damage of the adult fluke was revealed after SkQ1 treatment. Flavonoids manifested potency too, with IC50 values in a micromolar range (5.1–17.4 µM). Other natural and synthetic compounds tested against helminths were significantly less effective than praziquantel. Results of our study indicate that SkQ1 and flavonoids have high anthelmintic activities against the liver flukes. We propose that structure–activity relationship research might be worthwhile based on the structures of the most effective substances.

Original languageEnglish
Article number284
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • Antioxidant
  • Coenzyme Q
  • Flavonoid
  • Liver flukes
  • Praziquantel




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