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   Index



 

COMPOSITAE — 18
Parthenium

(Daisy or Sunflower family)

 



Parthenium L.

Fifteen species occur in America and the West Indies. One has recently been introduced to the Indian subcontinent and elsewhere. The genus is classified in the tribe Heliantheae.

Potentially allergenic sesquiterpene lactones have been reported from the following species:

Parthenium alpinum Torrey & A. Gray var tetraneuris Rollins
(syn. Parthenium tetraneuris Barneby)
Parthenium bipinnatifidum Rollins
(syn. Villanova bipinnatifida Ortega)
Parthenium ligulatum Barneby
(syn. Parthenium alpinum Torrey & A. Gray var ligulatum M.E. Jones)
Parthenium lozanianum Bartlett 

Other taxa are considered in the monographs below.



Parthenium argentatum A. Gray
Guayule

Contact dermatitis from this species, with a positive patch test reaction, was reported by Smith & Hughes (1938).

A sesquiterpene alcohol / cinnamic acid ester, named guayulin A, derived from the resin of the plant is a potent contact sensitiser for guinea pigs (Rodriguez et al. 1981). Guayulin A sensitised animals did not react to applications of its parent alcohol, nor to n-pentadecyl cinnamic acid ester, nor to costunolide. Weak cross-reactivity to guayulin B was observed. Rodriguez et al. (1981) also noted that guayule readily undergoes interspecific hybridisation with Parthenium incanum Kunth and with Parthenium tomentosum DC. var stramonium. Preliminary investigations of crosses with the latter taxon indicate the presence of both guayulin A and stramonin B (a pseudoguaianolide) in the first generation hybrids.



Parthenium cineraceum Rollins

Contact hypersensitivity to an acetone extract of this species, but not to ligulatin B nor ligulatin C (both 0.01% in petrolatum), sesquiterpene lactones present in this species, was demonstrated in male volunteers previously sensitised to costus absolute derived from Saussurea costus Lipsch. (Rodriguez et al. 1977).



Parthenium confertum A. Gray

Contact hypersensitivity to an acetone extract of this species, and also to damsin (0.01% in petrolatum), one of the sesquiterpene lactones present in this species, has been demonstrated in male volunteers previously sensitised to costus absolute derived from Saussurea costus Lipsch. (Rodriguez et al. 1977).



Parthenium confertum A. Gray var lyratum Rollins
(syn. Parthenium lyratum A. Gray)

Contact hypersensitivity to an acetone extract of this variety, and also to tetraneurin A (0.01% in petrolatum), one of the sesquiterpene lactones present in this variety, has been demonstrated in male volunteers previously sensitised to costus absolute derived from Saussurea costus Lipsch. (Rodriguez et al. 1977).



Parthenium confertum A. Gray var divaricatum Rollins

Contact hypersensitivity to an acetone extract of this variety, and also to conchosin A, conchosin B, and a mixture of conchosins C and D, (all 0.01% in petrolatum), sesquiterpene lactones present in this variety, has been demonstrated in male volunteers previously sensitised to costus absolute derived from Saussurea costus Lipsch. (Rodriguez et al. 1977).



Parthenium confertum A. Gray var microcephalum Rollins

Contact hypersensitivity to an acetone extract of this variety, and also to hymenin (0.01% in petrolatum), a sesquiterpene lactone present in this variety, has been demonstrated in male volunteers previously sensitised to costus absolute derived from Saussurea costus Lipsch. (Rodriguez et al. 1977).



Parthenium densipilum S.F. Blake

Contact hypersensitivity to an acetone extract of this species, and also to damsin (0.01% in petrolatum), a sesquiterpene lactone present in this species, has been demonstrated in male volunteers previously sensitised to costus absolute derived from Saussurea costus Lipsch. (Rodriguez et al. 1977).



Parthenium fruticosum Less. var trilobatum Rollins

Contact hypersensitivity to an acetone extract of this variety, and also to tetraneurin C (0.01% in petrolatum), one of the sesquiterpene lactones present in this variety, has been demonstrated in male volunteers previously sensitised to costus absolute derived from Saussurea costus Lipsch. (Rodriguez et al. 1977).



Parthenium glomeratum Rollins

Contact hypersensitivity to an acetone extract of this species, and also to damsin (0.01% in petrolatum), one of the sesquiterpene lactones present in this species, has been demonstrated in male volunteers previously sensitised to costus absolute derived from Saussurea costus Lipsch. (Rodriguez et al. 1977).



Parthenium hysterophorus L.
Feverfew, Bastard Feverfew, Whitetop, Wild Wormwood, Whitehead, White Broomweed, Pound-Cake Bush, Dog-Flea Weed, Congress Grass, Carrot Weed

"Weed dermatitis" from this species in the USA was reported by French (1930), Kahn & Grothaus (1936), and Ogden (1957). Shelmire (1939a) found that 27 of 50 patients showed positive patch test reactions to an extract of this plant. Brache & Aquino (1978) list this species as being among the 14 commonest causes of plant contact dermatitis in the Dominican Republic, where it is known as escobita amarga. Dermatitis from this species in India was reviewed by Towers et al. (1977a), Hausen (1978d), and by Fisher (1979a). Towers & Mitchell (1983) provide further discussion.

Although indigenous to the Americas including the Caribbean region, this aggressive weed has spread in the last hundred years to Australia, Africa, and Asia (Towers et al. 1977a, Towers & Mitchell 1983). In India, an extensive outbreak of "weed dermatitis" involving perhaps 1000 patients with some deaths has been observed. The plant is believed to have been introduced into India in 1956. The outbreak has become a major health problem and also an agricultural problem because of the aggressiveness and prolific growth of the plant (Ranade 1971, Lonkar et al. 1974, Subba Rao et al. 1977, Siddiqui et al. 1978). Other authors describing the hazardous nature of the plant in India include Jayachandra (1971), Mani et al. (1975), Krishnamurthy et al. (1976), and Khosla & Sobti (1979). From Australia, Everist (1976) and Sullivan (1977) provide similar reports. Suggested methods of control of P. hysterophorus are discussed by Towers et al. (1977a) and by Hausen (1979d).

Bhutani & Rao (1978) reported a photocontact dermatitis, resembling actinic reticuloid, in a 90 year old agricultural labourer. The lesions could be reproduced by applying a paste of the fresh plant to the skin, then exposing to light. Parthenin was not the causative agent. Frain-Bell & Johnson (1979) observed positive patch test reactions to the oleoresin in 30 of 38 patients with the photosensitivity dermatitis and actinic reticuloid syndrome.

Parthenin is considered to be the major allergen of the species (Lonkar et al. 1976). A number of other sesquiterpene lactones have also been isolated, including hymenin, coronopilin, hysterin, and tetraneurin A (Rodriguez et al. 1976b, Hausen 1978d, Sohi et al. 1979, Picman et al. 1980, Towers & Mitchell 1983). Their presence on the surface of wind-blown particles of dried plant material, including trichomes and pollen, is the primary cause of dermatitis although direct and unnoticed contact with the living plants may also be important (Hausen 1978d, Mitchell 1981c, Towers & Mitchell 1983). Shelmire (1939a) reported that a quantity of 19 grammes of oleoresinous material could be extracted from 450 grammes of the dried plant.

Parthenin produced positive patch test reactions in 27 of 50 Indian patients who had "weed dermatitis" (Lonkar et al. 1974). In this study and those of Shelmire (1939a), and Mitchell et al. (1971), the patients showed positive patch test reactions to some other members of the Compositae. Singh et al. (1978) recorded 90 negative control patch tests to the plant, but also observed positive patch test reactions to the leaf in 24 out of 90 contact dermatitis patients. Sohi et al. (1979) reported positive patch test reactions to parthenin, tetraneurin A, and an incompletely characterised compound named hysterophorin in all of 50 patients with Parthenium dermatitis. However, details of patch test concentrations and vehicles were not given, nor were results in control subjects.

The presence of parthenin and coronopilin in callus tissue of P. hysterophorus grown in culture has also been reported by Wickham et al. (1980).

In a study on male volunteers previously sensitised to costus absolute derived from Saussurea costus Lipsch., Rodriguez et al. (1977) demonstrated contact hypersensitivity in 2 of 6 subjects to an acetone extract of P. hysterophorus, and also to ambrosin, coronopilin, hymenin, and tetraneurin A (all 0.01% in petrolatum) but not parthenin. Subba Rao et al. (1978) observed that persons sensitised to parthenin did not react when patch tested with hymenin, its diastereomer. Guinea pigs sensitised to parthenin reacted to coronopilin and damsin but not to hymenin; reactions to some related lactones were negative (Picman et al. 1980, 1982).

Parthenium hysterophorus L. can cause diarrhoea, excitability, muscular twitching, and death in cattle and buffaloes. Papular erythematous eruptions leading to alopecia and depigmentation are also observed (Narasimhan et al. 1977).



Parthenium incanum Kunth

Contact hypersensitivity to an acetone extract of this species, and also to coronopilin (0.01% in petrolatum), one of the sesquiterpene lactones present in this species, was demonstrated in male volunteers previously sensitised to costus absolute derived from Saussurea costus Lipsch. (Rodriguez et al. 1977).



Parthenium integrifolium L.

Contact hypersensitivity to an acetone extract of this species, and also to tetraneurin C (0.01% in petrolatum), one of the sesquiterpene lactones present in this species, has been demonstrated in male volunteers previously sensitised to costus absolute derived from Saussurea costus Lipsch. (Rodriguez et al. 1977).



Parthenium integrifolium L. var auriculatum Cornelius ex Cronquist
(syn. Parthenium auriculatum Britton)

Contact hypersensitivity to an acetone extract of this variety, and also to tetraneurin C and damsin (both 0.01% in petrolatum), sesquiterpene lactones present in this variety, has been demonstrated in male volunteers previously sensitised to costus absolute derived from Saussurea costus Lipsch. (Rodriguez et al. 1977).



Parthenium rollinsianum Rzed.

This Mexican desert shrub is not known to contain sesquiterpene lactones, and an acetone extract of the plant produced negative patch test reactions in 6 male volunteers previously sensitised to costus absolute derived from Saussurea costus Lipsch. (Rodriguez et al. 1977).



Parthenium schottii Greenman

Contact hypersensitivity to an acetone extract of this species, and also to coronopilin and confertin (both 0.01% in petrolatum), two of the sesquiterpene lactones present in this species, was demonstrated in male volunteers previously sensitised to costus absolute derived from Saussurea costus Lipsch. (Rodriguez et al. 1977).



Parthenium tomentosum DC.

Contact hypersensitivity to an acetone extract of this species, and also to oaxacin and tomentosin (both 0.01% in petrolatum), two of the sesquiterpene lactones present in this species, was demonstrated in male volunteers previously sensitised to costus absolute derived from Saussurea costus Lipsch. (Rodriguez et al. 1977).



Parthenium tomentosum DC. var stramonium Rollins
(syn. Parthenium stramonium Greene)

Contact hypersensitivity to an acetone extract of this variety, but not to stramonin A nor stramonin B (both 0.01% in petrolatum), two of the sesquiterpene lactones present in this species, was demonstrated in male volunteers previously sensitised to costus absolute derived from Saussurea costus Lipsch. (Rodriguez et al. 1977). This was not unexpected since neither stramonin A nor stramonin B bear an exocyclic methylene group on the lactone ring, a feature associated with contact allergenicity in this class of compounds (Mitchell & Dupuis 1971). Stramonin A does, however, have significant cytotoxic activity against cultured KB cells (Grieco et al. 1978).




Richard J. Schmidt [Valid HTML 4.01!]



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