This study evaluated the activity of leaf essential oil (EO) from Hyptis mutabilis as well as its major constituent, (-)-globulol, in infections by the parasite Ichthyophthirius multifiliis (ich). Effects on hematological, biochemical, and immunological parameters of silver catfish, Rhamdia quelen, exposed to the same samples also were evaluated. In the first experiment, naturally infected fish were treated with EO (0, 10, and 20 mg · L−1) and ethanol, using several methods of exposure. Fish mortality and the number of trophonts per fish were assessed after 48 and 96 hr. Hour-long daily baths resulted in optimal survival, so this methodology was used for the second experiment, in which infected animals were exposed to (-)-globulol at 2.5 and 5 mg · L−1. The most effective concentrations in Experiments 1 and 2 were chosen for Experiment 3, in which healthy animals were subjected to hour-long daily baths with EO (20 mg · L−1) or (-)-globulol (2.5 mg · L−1). Additionally, an in vitro experiment was performed with EO and globulol at the same concentrations of the in vivo test. EO and (-)-globulol increased the survival of fish infected with ich and altered certain hematological and biochemical parameters. After 4 days, levels of hematocrit, erythrocytes, and leukocytes increased significantly in healthy animals exposed to EO. Exposure to (-)-globulol increased leukocyte number alone. No significant differences in nonspecific immunological parameters were detected when treated groups were compared to controls, but the leukocytosis observed in EO- and globulol-treated healthy animals indicates that EO and (-)-globulol increased innate immunity in these fish. An in vitro antiparasitic effect was observed in both samples.

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