Comparative in vitro efficacy of kefir produced from camel, goat, ewe and cow milk on Haemonchus contortus
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One of the great challenges of veterinary parasitology is the search for alternative methods for controlling gastrointestinal parasites in small ruminants. Milk kefir is a traditional source of probiotic, with great therapeutic potential. The objective of this study was to investigate the anthelmintic effects of kefir on the abomasal nematode Haemonchus contortus from sheep. The study used camel, goat, ewe and cow milk as a starting material, to produce camel, goat, cow and ewe milk kefir. All kefirs showed a significant concentration-dependent effect on H. contortus egg hatching at all tested concentrations. The highest inhibition (100%) of eggs was observed with camel milk kefir at a concentration 0.125 mg/ml. In relation to the effect of kefirs on the survival of adult parasites, all kefirs induced concentration-dependent mortality in adults, with variable results. The complete mortality (100%) of adults of H. contortus occurred at concentrations in the range 0.25–2 mg/ml. The highest inhibition of motility (100%) of worms was observed after 8 h post exposure with camel milk kefir at 0.25 mg/ml. These findings indicate that kefir can be considered a potential tool to control haemonchosis in sheep. Further investigations are needed to assess the active molecules in kefir responsible for its anthelmintic properties and to investigate similar in vivo effects.