Toxic activities of the plant Jatropha curcas against intermediate snail hosts and larvae of schistosomes


correspondence Dr M. Rug, Department of Biochemistry, La Trobe University, Bundoora 3083, Australia. E-mail:


Summary The aim of studies on plant molluscicides is to complement methods for controlling snails acting as intermediate hosts of schistosomes. We report on the toxic activity of extracts from Jatropha curcas L. (Euphorbiaceae) against snails transmitting Schistosoma mansoni and S. haematobium. We studied different extracts' effects on infectious larvae, cercariae and miracidia of S. mansoni. Compared to aqueous extract, methanol extract showed the highest toxicity against all tested organisms with LC100-values of 25 p.p.m. for cercariae and the snail Biomphalaria glabrata and 1 p.p.m. for the snails Bulinus truncatus and B. natalensis. Attenuation of cercariae leading to reduced infectivity in mice could be achieved in concentrations below those exerting acute toxicity. In view of our results and the ongoing exploitation of J. curcas for other purposes, this plant could become an affordable and effective component of an integrated approach to schistosomiasis control.