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Article

Anthelminthic Activity of Assassin Bug Venom against the Blood Fluke Schistosoma mansoni

1
Institute for Insect Biotechnology, Justus Liebig University of Giessen, Heinrich-Buff-Ring 26-32, 35392 Giessen, Germany
2
LOEWE Centre for Translational Biodiversity Genomics (LOEWE-TBG), Senckenberganlage 25, 60325 Frankfurt, Germany
3
Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology, Department of Bioresources, Winchester Strasse 2, 35394 Giessen, Germany
4
Institute of Parasitology, BFS, Justus Liebig University of Giessen, Schubertstr. 81, 35392 Giessen, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Antibiotics 2020, 9(10), 664; https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics9100664
Received: 31 July 2020 / Revised: 23 September 2020 / Accepted: 28 September 2020 / Published: 1 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Compounds as Antimicrobial Agents, 2nd Volume)
Helminths such as the blood fluke Schistosoma mansoni represent a major global health challenge due to limited availability of drugs. Most anthelminthic drug candidates are derived from plants, whereas insect-derived compounds have received little attention. This includes venom from assassin bugs, which contains numerous bioactive compounds. Here, we investigated whether venom from the European predatory assassin bug Rhynocoris iracundus has antischistosomal activity. Venom concentrations of 10–50 µg/mL inhibited the motility and pairing of S. mansoni adult worms in vitro and their capacity to produce eggs. We used EdU-proliferation assays to measure the effect of venom against parasite stem cells, which are essential for survival and reproduction. We found that venom depleted proliferating stem cells in different tissues of the male parasite, including neoblasts in the parenchyma and gonadal stem cells. Certain insect venoms are known to lyse eukaryotic cells, thus limiting their therapeutic potential. We therefore carried out hemolytic activity assays using porcine red blood cells, revealing that the venom had no significant effect at a concentration of 43 µg/mL. The observed anthelminthic activity and absence of hemolytic side effects suggest that the components of R. iracundus venom should be investigated in more detail as potential antischistosomal leads. View Full-Text
Keywords: assassin bug; Rhynocoris iracundus; Schistosoma mansoni; venom; in vitro culture; natural compound; stem cells; cell proliferation assassin bug; Rhynocoris iracundus; Schistosoma mansoni; venom; in vitro culture; natural compound; stem cells; cell proliferation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tonk, M.; Vilcinskas, A.; Grevelding, C.G.; Haeberlein, S. Anthelminthic Activity of Assassin Bug Venom against the Blood Fluke Schistosoma mansoni. Antibiotics 2020, 9, 664. https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics9100664

AMA Style

Tonk M, Vilcinskas A, Grevelding CG, Haeberlein S. Anthelminthic Activity of Assassin Bug Venom against the Blood Fluke Schistosoma mansoni. Antibiotics. 2020; 9(10):664. https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics9100664

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tonk, Miray, Andreas Vilcinskas, Christoph G. Grevelding, and Simone Haeberlein. 2020. "Anthelminthic Activity of Assassin Bug Venom against the Blood Fluke Schistosoma mansoni" Antibiotics 9, no. 10: 664. https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics9100664

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