Influence of formic acid on the vitality of Strongyloides papillosus

Keywords: nematodes; Strongyloides; antiparasitic activity; flavouring agents; formic acid.


Formic acid (methanoic acid, HCOOH) is an organic compound which belongs to saturated monobasic acids. In natural conditions, it is secreted from the glands of ants, and also extracted from the leaves of stinging nettles. It is soluble in water in any proportions, which makes it practical to use for making aquatic solutions. It is broadly used as a preservative in the food industry – Е236 food additive (Codex Alimentarius), as a bactericide in medicine and veterinary medicine, and is also used against agricultural pest species of insects and mites. The in vitro and in vivo experiments revealed the anthelmintic properties of the acid against Strongyloides papillosus nematodes, parasites of the gastrointestinal tract of Ruminantia and rabbits. In the conditions of in vitro, 100% of (L1, L2, L3) nematode larvae died from a 1% solution of formic acid (10 g/l) after 24 hours exposure. When exposed to less strong concentrations of the acid (1, 0.1, 0.01, 0.001 g/l), vital forms of L3S. papillosus were found. Non-invasive stages (L1, L2) are less resistant to the impact of the acid – death of 100% of the larvae was observed under the impact of 0.1% solution and up to 60% of larvae died at 0.01% solution of formic acid in the same conditions. LD50 for L3 invasive larvae of S. papillosus equaled 0.47%, and 0.0076% for L1, L2 non-invasive larvae of S. papillosus. In the conditions of in vivo experiment (with guinea pigs), the effective dose of formic acid was 0.4% ml/kg of the animal`s body weight. The results of the coproscopy after the treatment demonstrated absence of the helminth larvae in the feces of the laboratory animals during 10 days and their occurrence only on days 15–20 with a low intensity (90 larvae/g of feces on average). During an external examination of the corpses of the animals of the experimental group, no pathological changes were found. The intestine, the heart, the lungs and the liver of the animals from this group had no macroscopic changes – they were of natural colour and size. The hepatocytes looked normal and the structure of the liver lobes was maintained. In the tissues of the liver of the animals from the experimental and control groups, we found processes of passive congestion, and an insignificant degree of signs of hepatic steatosis.


Bancroft, J. D., & Stevensens, A. (1990). Theory and practice of histological technigues. Livingstone, London.

Belletti, N., Kamdem, S. S., Tabanelli, G., Lanciotti, R., & Gardini, F. (2010). Modeling of combined effects of citral, linalool and β-pinene used against Saccharomyces cerevisiae in citrus-based beverages subjected to a mild heat treatment. International Journal of Food Microbiology, 136(3), 283–289.

Boyko, O. O., & Brygadyrenko, V. V. (2016). Influence of water infusion of medicinal plants on larvae of Strongyloides papillosus (Nematoda, Strongyloididae). Visnyk of Dnipropetrovsk University. Biology, Ecology, 24(2), 519–525.

Boyko, O. O., & Brygadyrenko, V. V. (2018). The impact of certain flavourings and preservatives on the survivability of larvae of nematodes of Ruminantia. Regulatory Mechanisms in Biosystems, 9(1), 118–123.

Burke, J. M., Wells, A., Casey, P., & Kaplan, R. M. (2009). Herbal dewormer fails to control gastrointestinal nematodes in goats. Veterinary Parasitology, 160, 168–170.

Cabaret, J., Bouilhol, M., & Mage, C. (2002). Managing helminths of ruminants in organic farming. Veterinary Research, 33(5), 625–640.

Castle, M. E., & Watson, J. N. (1970). Silage and milk production, a comparison between wilted and unwilted grass silages made with and without formic acid. Grass and Forage Science, 25(4), 278–284.

Charlier, J., Höglund, J., Samson-Himmelstjerna, G., Dorny, P., & Vercruysse, J. (2009). Gastrointestinal nematode infections in adult dairy cattle: Impact on production, diagnosis and control. Veterinary Parasitology, 164, 70–79.

Chiang, L.-C., Ng, L.-T., Cheng, P.-W., Chiang, W., & Lin, C.-C. (2005). Antiviral activities of extracts and selected pure constituents of Ocimum basilicum. Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology, 32(10), 811–816.

Cringoli, G., Veneziano, V., Jackson Vercruysse, J., Claerebout, E., Schnieder, T., Strube, C., Ducheyne, E., Hendrickx, G., & Charlier, J. (2009). The use of bulk-tank milk ELISAs to assess the spatial distribution of Fasciola hepatica, Ostertagia ostertagi and Dictyocaulus viviparous in dairy cattle in Flanders (Belgium). Veterinary Parasitology, 165, 51–57.

Faye, D., Leak, S., Nouala, S., Fall, A., Losson, B., & Geerts, S. (2003). Effects of gastrointestinal helminth infections and plane of nutrition on the health and productivity of F1. Small Ruminant Research, 50, 153–161.

Kobayashi, I., & Horii, Y. (2008). Gastrointestinal motor disturbance in rabbits experimentally infected with Strongyloides papillosus. Veterinary Parasitology, 158(1–2), 67–72.

Kobayashi, I., Kajisa, M., Farid, A. S., Yamanaka, A., & Horii, Y. (2009). Paralytic ileus and subsequent death caused by enteric parasite, Strongyloides papillosus, in Mongolian gerbils. Veterinary Parasitology, 162(1–2), 100–105.

Kváč, M., & Vítovec, J. (2007). Occurrence of Strongyloides papillosus associated with extensive pulmonary lesions and sudden deaths in calves on a beef farm in a highland area of South Bohemia (Czech Republic). Helminthologia, 44(1), 10–13.

Lu, C. D., Gangyi, X., & Kawasc, J. R. (2010). Organic goat production, processing and marketing: Opportunities, challenges and outlook. Small Ruminant Research, 89, 102–109.

Mashkovskij, M. D. (2000). Lekarstvennye sredstva [Medicinal products]. New Wave, Moscow.

Muzi, S., & Rahman, S. A. (2005). Urea and thiourea compounds useful for treatment of coccidiosis. US Patent No. 6875764B1. New Pharma Research Sweden AB.

Nakanishi, N., Nakamura, Y., Ura, S., Tsuji, N., Taira, N., Tanimura, N., & Kubo, M. (1993). Sudden death of calves by experimental infection with Strongyloides papillosus. III. Hematological, biochemical and histological examinations. Veterinary Parasitology, 47(1–2), 67–76.

Okhanov, V. V. (2000). Insektoakaritsidnoe sredstvo [Insectoacaricide]. U.S. Patent No. 2157182 RF.

Rahmann, G., & Seip, H. (2006). Alternative strategies to prevent and control endoparasite diseases in organic sheep and goat farming systems: A review of current scientific knowledge. In: Rahmann, G. (Ed.). Ressortforschung für den Ökologischen Landbau, 298. Pp. 49–90.

Rinaldi, L., Veneziano, V., & Cringoli, G. (2007). Dairy goat production and the importance of gastrointestinal strongyle parasitism. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 101, 103–105.

Safiullin, R. T. (1997). Rasprostranenie i ehkonomicheskij ushherb ot osnovnykh gel'mintozov zhvachnykh zhivotnykh [Distribution and economic damage from the basic helminthiases of ruminant animals]. Veterinary Medicine, 6, 28–32.

Sato, K., Krist, S., & Buchbauer, G. (2006). Antimicrobial effect of trans-Cinnamaldehyde, (–)-Perillaldehyde, (–)-Citronellal, Citral, Eugenol and Carvacrol on airborne microbes using an airwasher. Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin, 29(11), 2292–2294.

Somolinos, M., Garcia, D., Pagan, R., & Mackey, B. (2008). Relationship between sublethal injury and microbial inactivation by the combination of high hydrostatic pressure and citral or tert-butyl hydroquinone. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 74(24), 7570–7577.

Thamsborg, S. M., Ketzis, J., Horii, Y., & Matthews, J. B. (2016). Strongyloides spp. infections of veterinary importance. Parasitology, 144(3), 274–284.

Underwood, R. M., & Currie, R. W. (2003). The effects of temperature and dose of formic acid on treatment efficacy against Varroa destructor (Acari: Varroidae), a parasite of Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Experimental and Applied Acarology, 29, 303–313.

Veneziano, V., Rubino, R., Fedele, V., Rinaldi, L., Santaniello, M., Schioppi, M., Cascone, C., Pizzillo, M., & Cringoli, G. (2004). The effects of five anthelmintic treatment regimes on milk production in goats naturally infected by gastrointestinal nematodes. South African Journal of Animal Science, 34, 238–240.

Waldo, D. R., Smith, L. W., Miller, R. W., & Moore, L. A. (1969). Growth, intake, and digestibility from formic acid silage versus hay. Animal Husbandry Research Division, 52(10), 1609–1616.

Waller, P. J., & Thamsborg, S. M. (2004). Nematode control in ‘green’ ruminant production systems. Trends in Parasitology, 20(10), 493–497.

Zajac, A. M., & Conboy, G. A. (Eds.). (2011). Veterinary clinical parasitology, 8th ed. John Wiley and Sons, UK.

How to Cite
BoykoО. О., Gavrilina, O. G., Gavrilin, P. N., Gugosyan, Y. A., & Brygadyrenko, V. V. (2018). Influence of formic acid on the vitality of Strongyloides papillosus. Regulatory Mechanisms in Biosystems, 9(3), 435-439.

Most read articles by the same author(s)

> >>