Background: Phospholipases A2 (PLA2) from snake venoms have a broad potential as
pharmacological tools on medicine. In this context, strongyloidiasis is a neglected parasitic disease
caused by helminths of the genus Strongyloides. Currently, ivermectin is the drug of choice for treatment,
however, besides its notable toxicity, therapeutic failures and cases of drug resistance have been
reported. BnSP-6, from Bothorps pauloensis snake venom, is a PLA2 with depth biochemical characterization,
reporting effects against tumor cells and bacteria.
Objective: The aim of this study is to demonstrate for the first time the action of the PLA2 on Strongyloides
Methods: After 72 hours of treatment with BnSP-6 mortality of the infective larvae was assessed by motility
assay. Cell and parasite viability was evaluated by the 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyl
tetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay. Furthermore, autophagic vacuoles were labeled with Monodansylcadaverine
(MDC) and nuclei of apoptotic cells were labeled with Propidium Iodide (PI). Tissue degeneration
of the parasite was highlighted by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM).
Results: The mortality index demonstrated that BnSP-6 abolishes the motility of the parasite. In addition,
the MTT assay attested the cytotoxicity of BnSP-6 at lower concentrations when compared with
ivermectin, while autophagic and apoptosis processes were confirmed. Moreover, the anthelmintic effect
was demonstrated by tissue degeneration observed by TEM. Furthermore, we report that BnSP-6
showed low cytotoxicity on human intestinal cells (Caco-2).
Conclusion: Altogether, our results shed light on the potential of BNSP-6 as an anthelmintic agent,
which can lead to further investigations as a tool for pharmaceutical discoveries.