Therapeutic efficacy of nanocompounds in the treatment of cystic and alveolar echinococcoses: challenges and future prospects

Nayer Mehdizad Bakhtiar, Abolfazl Akbarzadeh, Adriano Casulli, Mahmoud Mahami-Oskouei, Ehsan Ahmadpour, Sanam Nami, Ali Rostami, Adel Spotin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Echinococcus granulosus sensu lato and E. multilocularis are the causative agents of life-threatening cystic and alveolar echinococcoses (CE and AE), respectively, which lead to serious public health concerns across the globe. Benzimidazoles (BMZs) are the drugs of choice for the treatment of human CE and AE. Presently, the chemotherapeutic failures of BMZs against CE and AE are caused by their low aqueous solubility, poor absorption, and consequently their erratic bioavailability. Among the BMZ compounds used for CE/AE treatment, albendazole (ABZ) and mebendazole (MBZ) are the only drugs licensed for human use. Nevertheless, the administration of these BMZs for a long period of time leads to undesirable adverse effects. Therefore, there is an urgent need for designing new formulations of BMZs with increased bioavailability. To bridge these therapeutic gaps, nanoparticle enantiomers of ABZ and drug delivery systems based on nanostructured entities currently provide an interesting new formulation of already existing drugs to improve the pharmacokinetic effects of BMZs. This study provides an overview of the tested nanocompounds against E. granulosus and E. multilocularis, including their effective dose, type of nanoparticles (NPs), assay setting, and therapeutic outcomes. This review suggests that BMZ derivatives loaded in NPs can significantly improve the scolicidal and cysticidal activities compared with single BMZ. Moreover, BMZ-loaded polymeric NPs show a tendency to increase mortality rate against protoscoleces and microcysts compared with metallic formulations, nanoemulsions, lipid nanocapsules, solid lipid NPs, liposomes, and nanocrystals. In the future, the use of the newly structured entities, attained by bridging ligands to the modified surface of NPs, as well as the electromagnetically produced nanodrugs could be helpful for developing fine-tuned formulations as an alternative to the already existing drugs against these neglected parasitic infections.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2455-2466
Number of pages12
JournalParasitology Research
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2019


  • Alveolar echinococcosis
  • Benzimidazoles
  • Cystic echinococcosis
  • Nanocompounds
  • Scolicidal agents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • veterinary(all)
  • Insect Science
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Therapeutic efficacy of nanocompounds in the treatment of cystic and alveolar echinococcoses: challenges and future prospects'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this