Nasim Qaemifar1, Hassan Borji2, and Ghazaleh Adhami3,*
1Department of Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran
2Department of Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran 3Department of Pathobiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Sanandaj Branch, Islamic Azad University, Sanandaj, Iran
Echinococcus granulosus(E. granulosus) is a parasitic tapeworm that can infect humans and various animal species, causing echinococcosis or hydatid disease. The larval stage of E. granulosuscauses this infection and can have serious consequences if left untreated. The larvae hatch in the intermediate host’s small intestine and then migrate to the liver or lungs, forming cysts that can grow to several centimeters. Garlic, a plant species scientifically known as Allium Sativum, is used for medicinal purposes due to its various sulfur compounds.This review articleaims to critically evaluate the potential of garlic as a natural treatment for echinococcosis, a parasitic disease caused by E. granulosus, based on the available scientific evidence. Garlic have been demonstrated to have antiparasitic effects and can enhance the immune response against E. granulosus. Garlic may inhibit the growth and development of cysts in infected animals and have immunomodulatory effects. Garlic treatment could significantly reduce the number and size of cysts in infected mice. The present review aimed to highlight the potential of garlic as a natural treatment for echinococcosis but emphasized the importance of seeking medical treatment under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
Echinococcus granulosus(E. granulosus) is a tapeworm species that can infect humans and various animal species, including dogs, sheep, and cattle1,2. This parasitic infection is also known as echinococcosis or hydatid disease, and it is caused by the larval stage of E. granulosus3. The life cycle of this tapeworm involves a definitive host, usually a dog, and an intermediate host, such as a sheep or human 4. The tapeworm’s eggs are passed through the feces of the definitive host, which are then ingested by the intermediate host5,6. The larvae hatch in the intermediate host’s small intestine and migrate to the liver or lungs, where they form cysts that can grow to several centimeters in size 7.Allium sativum, commonly known as garlic, is a plant speciesbelonging to the onion family8. It is native to central Asia but is now widely cultivated and used worldwide as aculinary herb and traditional medicine. Garlic has been used for medicinal purposes for centuries, and a growing body of scientific evidence supports its health benefits9,10. Garlic contains various sulfur compounds, including allicin, which is believed to be responsible for many medicinal properties11. Studies have shown that these sulfur compounds have antiparasitic effects, including against E. granulosus, a parasitic tapeworm that infects humans and animals12,13. Echinococcosis is a serious and potentially life-threatening infection that can lead to the formation of cysts in the liver, lungs, and other organs. Garlic has been shown to inhibit the growth and development of these cysts in infected animals. It is thought that the sulfur compounds in garlic may interfere with the metabolism and reproduction of the parasite, leading to its eventual destruction14. In addition to its antiparasitic effects, garlic may have immunomodulatory properties15.