Condensed tannins, novel compounds and sources of variation determine the antiparasitic activity of Nordic conifer bark against gastrointestinal nematodes

Caroline Chylinski, Kristin Fløgstad Degnes, Inga Marie Aasen, Sokratis Ptochos, Berit Marie Blomstrand, Karl-Christian Mahnert, Heidi Larsen Enemark, Stig Milan Thamsborg, Håvard Steinshamn, Spiridoula Athanasiadou*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

The antiparasitic potential of plants could offer a vital solution to alleviating the costs of gastrointestinal nematode (GIN) infections in ruminant production globally. Leveraging known bioactive molecules, however, is complex, where plant species, extraction processes and seasonality impact bioavailability and efficacy. This study assessed the impact of a comprehensive set of factors on the antiparasitic activity of Norwegian conifers to identify bark compounds specific against GIN. Antiparasitic activity was determined using in vitro assays targeting morphologically distinct life stages of ovine GIN: the egg hatch assay and larval motility assay. In depth characterisation of the chemical composition of the bark extracts was carried out using chromatographic separation, UV-absorbance, and molecular mass profiles to identify compounds implicated in the activity. Three key findings emerged: (1) the activity of bark extracts varied markedly from 0 to 100% antiparasitic efficacy, owing to tree species, extraction solvent and seasonality; (2) the GIN exhibited species-and stage-specific susceptibility to the bark extracts; (3) the presence of condensed tannins, amongst other compounds, was associated with anthelmintic activity. These findings add new insights into urgently needed alternative parasite control strategies in livestock.
Original languageEnglish
Article number13498
JournalScientific Reports
Volume13
Issue number1
Early online date18 Aug 2023
DOIs
Publication statusFirst published - 18 Aug 2023

Keywords

  • Animals
  • Antiparasitic Agents/pharmacology
  • Proanthocyanidins/pharmacology
  • Sheep
  • Plant Bark
  • Plant Extracts/pharmacology
  • Nematoda
  • Tracheophyta
  • Anti-Infective Agents

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