The Open Parasitology Journal

ISSN: 1874-4214 ― Volume 8, 2020

Ultrastructure-based Insights on Anti-Trichomonas vaginalis Effects of Selected Egyptian Red Sea Marine Resources

G.M. Tawfeek, H.S. Elwakil, R.M. Sarhan*
Department of Medical Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt



Metronidazole is used for the treatment of trichomoniasis. However, a growing number of Trichomonas vaginalis (T. vaginalis) isolates are now resistant, which is an urgent issue to search for new alternatives. Worldwide marine pharmacy confirms the enormous potential of sea species as a source of novel pharmaceuticals.


This study aimed to investigate the anti-T. vaginalis activities of ethanolic extracts of Red Sea marine resources, soft corals; Sarcophyton glaucum and Litophyton arboreum and methanolic extracts of Red Sea brown algae; Liagora farinosa, Colpomenia sinuosa, Hydroclathrus clathratus, and Sargassum graminifolium, as well as sea cucumber (Holothuria fuscocinerea) and sea urchin (Echinometra mathaei). T. vaginalis growth inhibition was determined using 2 concentrations for each marine extract 10 and 100 µg/ml in comparison to media control. Drugs that showed good initial activity were further tested to calculate their IC50 in comparison to metronidazole. The ultrastructural impact of the more effective extracts was further assessed.


H. clathratus, L. farinose, sea urchin E. mathaei and sea cucumber H. fuscocinerea reduced the growth of T. vaginalis effectively and showed high activity with IC50 of 0.985±0.08, 0.949±0.04, 0.845±0.09 and 0.798±µg/ml±SD, respectively. Concerning microscopic analysis, marine extract and metronidazole-treated cells presented similar morphological changes. The nuclear membrane was damaged, the nuclei were dissolved, the rough endoplasmic reticulum was widened, and the chromatin was accumulated. In the cytoplasm, numerous autophagic vacuoles appeared, the organelles were disintegrated, the flagella were internalized and hydrogenosomes with altered morphologies were observed. The cell membrane was partially damaged, with cytoplasmic leakage and cell disintegration.


This study describes the report on the activity and morphological changes induced by Egyptian Red Sea marine resources against T. vaginalis. The results obtained herein presented new opportunitiess. Further, bio-guided fractionation and isolation of active compounds are needed.

Keywords: Trichomonas vaginalis, Red sea, Marine resources, Soft corals, Red and brown algae, Sea cucumber, Sea urchin, Ultrastructure.

Article Information

Identifiers and Pagination:

Year: 2019
Volume: 7
First Page: 26
Last Page: 39
Publisher Id: TOPARAJ-7-26
DOI: 10.2174/1874421401907010026

Article History:

Received Date: 20/11/2018
Revision Received Date: 07/01/2019
Acceptance Date: 23/01/2019
Electronic publication date: 28/02/2019
Collection year: 2019

© 2019 Tawfeek et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: ( This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Medical Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt; E-mail:

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