Antiparasitic Properties of Cantharidin and the Blister Beetle Berberomeloe majalis (Coleoptera: Meloidae)



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Whitman, Douglas W. and Andrés, Maria Fe and Martínez Díaz, Rafael A and Ibáñez Escribano, Alexandra and Olmeda García, Ángeles Sonia and Gonzalez-Coloma, Azucena (2019) Antiparasitic Properties of Cantharidin and the Blister Beetle Berberomeloe majalis (Coleoptera: Meloidae). Toxins, 11 (4). p. 234. ISSN 2072-6651

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Cantharidin (CTD) is a toxic monoterpene produced by blister beetles (Fam. Meloidae) as a chemical defense against predators. Although CTD is highly poisonous to many predator species, some have evolved the ability to feed on poisonous Meloidae, or otherwise beneficially use blister beetles. Great Bustards, Otis tarda, eat CTD-containing Berberomeloe majalis blister beetles, and it has been hypothesized that beetle consumption by these birds reduces parasite load (a case of self-medication). We examined this hypothesis by testing diverse organisms against CTD and extracts of B. majalis hemolymph and bodies. Our results show that all three preparations (CTD and extracts of B. majalis) were toxic to a protozoan (Trichomonas vaginalis), a nematode (Meloidogyne javanica), two insects (Myzus persicae and Rhopalosiphum padi) and a tick (Hyalomma lusitanicum). This not only supports the anti-parasitic hypothesis for beetle consumption, but suggests potential new roles for CTD, under certain conditions.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Cantharidin; Blister beetle; Berberomeloe majalis; Nematicide; ixodicide; Antifeedant
Subjects:Medical sciences > Pharmacy > Microbiology
ID Code:70375
Deposited On:11 Feb 2022 09:22
Last Modified:11 Feb 2022 11:58

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