Effect of omega-3 fatty acids administered as monotherapy or combined with artemether on experimental Schistosoma mansoni infection

Samar N. El-Beshbishi*, Nora E. Saleh, Salama A. Abd el-mageed, Hosam El dein E. El-nemr, Hussein A. Abdalla, Abdelhadi M. Shebl, Amira Taman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Schistosomiasis is on the top list of endemic diseases in sub-Saharan Africa. Praziquantel is the drug of choice for treatment of human schistosomiasis. Yet, the sole dependence on the drug raises concerns about the potential for increased drug resistance, which would subsequently result in searching for alternative preventive chemotherapy options, ideally among natural compounds. Therefore, we conducted this work to assess the effect of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids [(ω-3) PUFAs] monotherapy or combined therapy with artemether (ART) against Schistosoma mansoni infection in a mouse model. A total of 42 mice were divided into 4 groups and infected with 50 ± 5 S. mansoni cercariae for 10 weeks. Mice were treated orally with either (ω-3) PUFAs as 273 mg/ kg, 4 times/ week throughout the experiment, ART as a single dose of 400 mg/ kg, 3 weeks post-infection, or combined ART + (ω-3) PUFAs using the same respective treatment regimen, while infected untreated mice were served as controls. The study explored that combined administration of (ω-3) PUFAs and ART has the best schistosomicidal efficacy as it significantly reduced liver and spleen indices, worm count, egg burdens, and granulomas count as well as diameter. Besides, the combined regimen was associated with a significant decrease in both hepatic nitric oxide and serum interleukin-4 level. The results highlighted the possibility of using (ω-3) PUFA combined with ART as a novel anti-schistosomal combination therapy. However, further researches should be conducted to clarify the possible synergistic mechanism/s between the two natural compounds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-68
Number of pages7
JournalActa Tropica
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019


  • Artemether
  • Egg burden
  • Histopathology
  • Interleukin-4
  • Nitric oxide
  • Omega-3 PUFAs
  • Schistosoma mansoni
  • Worm count

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • veterinary (miscalleneous)
  • Insect Science
  • Infectious Diseases

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