Introducing Silver Nanoparticles as Anti-Giardial in Experimentally Infected Mice: Therapy versus Toxicity
Ekhlas M. Idan, Naksheen M. Ardalan, Zahra'a A. Ahmed
The protozoan Giardia continues to be one of the most common causes of parasitic diarrhea and a considerable health problem particularly in developmental countries worldwide. The commercially used drug, Metronidazole (MTZ), used for the treatment of giardiasis is often associated with hazardous side effects and occurrence of refractory cases due to development of resistant strains. Therefore the search for alternative therapies is required. Silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) are considered one of the most important modern medical applications for treating various infections, including infections with parasites. The aim of this study was to assess the in vivo anti Giardial effect of AgNPs used singly or in combination with MTZ versus MTZ. Mice were infected by inoculation of the Giardia cysts orally then they were divided into four groups according to the drug taken. Two weeks post infection; mice were given the drugs orally for three days. Parasitological and histopathological assessments of the drug effect were done. Parasitological assessment was done via studying the parasite density and histopathological assessment was done by examining sections of intestine, liver using Hematoxylin and Eosin stain. Mice that were treated with AgNPs and MTZ showed statistically significant reduction in the mean number of the parasite in stool, when compared to the control group (not treated) however, AgNPs and combination therapy show less antigiardial activity compared to MTZ. Light microscopic examination showed that the parasites have been eliminated from the intestine in mice treated with MTZ, while mice treated with AgNPs have shown remained trophozoites in intestine, as well as in combined treatment (AgNPs with MTZ). Various histopathological changes were observed in the intestine and liver included; degeneration, PMN infiltration and associated with a death of cells by necrosis and apoptosis.