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Inhibitory effects of (-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate from green tea on the growth of Babesia parasites

  • M. ABOULAILA (a1), N. YOKOYAMA (a1) and I. IGARASHI (a1)

(-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is the major tea catechin and accounts for 50–80% of the total catechin in green tea. (-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-cancer, and anti-trypanocidal activities. This report describes the inhibitory effect of (-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate on the in vitro growth of bovine Babesia parasites and the in vivo growth of the mouse-adapted rodent babesia B. microti. The in vitro growth of the Babesia species was significantly (P<0·05) inhibited in the presence of micromolar concentrations of EGCG (IC50 values=18 and 25 μM for B. bovis, and B. bigemina, respectively). The parasites showed no re-growth at 25 μM for B. bovis and B. bigemina in the subsequent viability test. The drug significantly (P<0·05) inhibited the growth of B. microti at doses of 5 and 10 mg/kg body weight, and the parasites completely cleared on day 14 and 16 post-inoculation in the 5 and 10 mg/kg treated groups, respectively. These findings highlight the potentiality of (-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate as a chemotherapeutic drug for the treatment of babesiosis.

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