Gastrointestinal nematode infection of small ruminants causes losses in livestock production. Plant compounds show promises as alternatives to commercial anthelmintics that have been exerting selective pressures that lead to the development of drug-resistant parasites. Soybean (Glycine max) is an economical value crop, with a higher protein content compared to other legumes. The objective of this study was to evaluate whether the protease inhibitors exuded from the G. max mature seeds have anthelmintic activity against Haemonchus contortus. To obtain the soybean exudates (SEX), mature seeds were immersed in 100 mM sodium acetate buffer, pH 5.0, at 10 C, for 24 hr. Then the naturally released substances present in SEX were collected and exhaustively dialyzed (cutoff 12 kDa) against distilled water. The dialyzed seed exudates (SEXD) were heated at 100 C for 10 min and centrifuged (12,000 g, at 4 C for 15 min). The supernatant obtained was recovered and designated as the heat-treated exudate fraction (SEXDH). The protein content, protease inhibitor activity, and the effect of each fraction on H. contortus egg hatch rate were evaluated. The inhibition extent of SEX, SEXD, and SEXDH on H. contortus egg proteases was 31.1, 42.9, and 63.8%, respectively. Moreover, SEX, SEXD, and SEXDH inhibited the egg hatching with EC50 of 0.175, 0.175, and 0.241 mg ml−1, respectively. Among the commercial protease inhibitors tested, only EDTA and E-64 inhibited the H. contortus hatch rate (79.0 and 28.9%, respectively). We present evidence demonstrating that soybean exudate proteins can effectively inhibit H. contortus egg hatching. This bioactivity is displayed by thermostable proteins and provides evidence that protease inhibitors are a potential candidate for anthelmintic use.

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