The molluscicidal activity of Crown of Christ (Euphorbia splendens var. hislopii) latex on snails acting as intermediate hosts of Schistosoma mansoni and Schistosoma haematobium.

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  • 1 Department of Biology, Oswaldo Cruz Institute, FIOCRUZ, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The present study describes the action of the latex of Euphorbia splendens var. hislopii (E. milli) on species of the genus Bulinus and on Biomphalaria pfeifferi, intermediate hosts of schistosomiasis in Africa, and the Brazilian snails B. glabrata, B. tenagophila, and B. straminea, intermediate hosts of schistosomiasis in Brazil. The impact of the latex on the egg masses and embryos of B. glabrata was also evaluated. Using the standardized methodology of the World Health Organization for testing plant-derived molluscicides, we obtained a 90% lethal dose (LD90) ranging from 0.13 ppm for B. glabrata subjected to lyophilized latex to 4.0 ppm for B. pfeifferi tested with the natural latex. This material has proved to be one of the most potent and specific plant molluscicides discovered thus far, presenting advantages in terms of application so that it could be used in programs involving community participation in endemic areas in both Brazil and Africa.