Anthelmintic Activity of Yeast Particle-Encapsulated Terpenes.Molecules. 2020 Jun 27; 25(13)M
Soil-transmitted nematodes (STN) infect 1-2 billion of the poorest people worldwide. Only benzimidazoles are currently used in mass drug administration, with many instances of reduced activity. Terpenes are a class of compounds with anthelmintic activity. Thymol, a natural monoterpene phenol, was used to help eradicate hookworms in the U.S. South circa 1910. However, the use of terpenes as anthelmintics was discontinued because of adverse side effects associated with high doses and premature stomach absorption. Furthermore, the dose-response activity of specific terpenes against STNs has been understudied. Here we used hollow, porous yeast particles (YPs) to efficiently encapsulate (>95%) high levels of terpenes (52% w/w) and evaluated their anthelmintic activity on hookworms (Ancylostoma ceylanicum), a rodent parasite (Nippostrongylus brasiliensis), and whipworm (Trichuris muris). We identified YP-terpenes that were effective against all three parasites. Further, YP-terpenes overcame albendazole-resistant Caenorhabditis elegans. These results demonstrate that terpenes are broad-acting anthelmintics. Terpenes are predicted to be extremely difficult for parasites to resist, and YP encapsulation provides water-suspendable terpene materials without surfactants and sustained terpene release that could lead to the development of formulations for oral delivery that overcome fast absorption in the stomach, thus reducing dosage and toxic side effects.