Abstract
IN VIVO ANTIMALARIAL ACTIVITIES OF CROTON ZAMBESICUS LEAF FRACTIONS AGAINST PLASMODIUM BERGHEI INFECTION IN MICE

Martin O. Anagboso*, Jude E. Okokon and Emmanuel I. Etim*

ABSTRACT

Croton zambesicus Muell Arg. (Euphorbiaceace) a medicinal plant used traditionally in the treatment of malaria was screened for antiplasmodial activity. The leaf fractions (hexane, dichloromethane, ethyl acetate and methanol; 150 mg/kg) were investigated for suppressive, prophylactic, and curative antiplasmodial activities against chloroquine-sensitive Plasmodium berghei infections in Swiss albino mice. Chloroquine (5 mg/kg) and pyrimethamine (1.2 mg/kg) were used as positive controls. Thin films made from tail blood of each mouse were used to assess the level of parasitaemia of the mice. The leaf fractions progressively reduced parasitaemia induced by chloroquine-sensitive P. berghei infection in suppressive (58.16-74.82%), prophylactic (32.75 – 46.79%) and curative (65.87–76.33%) models in mice with ethyl acetate fraction exhibiting the highest suppressive and curative activities, while DCM fraction followed by methanol fraction exerted the highest prophylactic effect. These reductions were statistically significant (p<0.01–0.001).They also improved significantly (p<0.01–0.001) the mean survival time (MST) from 10.03 to 26.06 d in suppressive, 10.06 to 20.01 in prophylactic and 10.12 to 25.33 d in curative models relative to respective controls. The activities of the leaf fractions were not comparable to that of the standard drugs used (chloroquine and pyrimethamine) in all the models. The leaf of C. zambesicus may possess antiplasmodial effect which may in part be mediated through the chemical constituents of the plant.

Keywords: Croton zambesicus; Plasmodium berghei, medicinal plant.


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