In vivo and in vitro crude powder (CPE), native (NNE) and gemotherapeutic (GNE) extracts ofAzadirachta indica (neem) were studied to rationalize its traditional use. Live Haemonchus contortus and earthworms were used to access the in vitro and anthelmintic effect of crude extracts (NNE and GNE) of neem. The in vitro inhibitory effect of both GNE and NNE was evident in the paralysis or mortality of H. contortus and earthworms noted at 24 h post exposure. In egg hatch assay, NNE extract demonstrated inhibitory effect on egg hatching ofH. Contortus after 48 h, with 100% eggs remaining unhatched at 4.0 mg/mL; while in GNE after 48 h, again 100% eggs remained unhatched at 2.0 mg/mL. All these results were also compared with positive control velbazine. For in vivo studies, GTNE, NNE and crude powder of neem were administered in increasing doses (1.0-3.0 g/kg) to sheep naturally infected with mixed species of gastrointestinal nematodes. A maximum reduction of 73.6% EPG was recorded in sheep treated with GNE at 3.0 g followed by crude powder of neem at 3.0 g (27%) and NNE at 3.0 g (43.8%). Levamisole, a standard anthelmintic agent, showed 99.23% reduction in faecal eggs per gram (EPG) basis. The data show that GNE and NNE exhibit dose dependent anthelmintic activity both in vivo and in vitro. The results suggest that utilization of GTNE, NNE and crude powder of neem may be useful in the control of sheep gastrointestinal nematodes.
Key words: Antihelmintic, gemmotherapeutically, Azadirachta indica, nematodes, earthworms, Pakistan.
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