Therapeutic potential of concurrent administration of Hippocratea africana and Eremomastax speciosa in the treatment of Plasmodium berghei infected mice
Keywords:Hippocratea africana, Eremomastax speciosa, Malaria, Multiple herbal therapy
Context: Despite the commonness of polyherbal therapy among the locals in the treatment of malaria in Nigeria, there are no adequate data on the therapeutic potentials and safety profile of these herbal combinations. The use of these plants in combination in the treatment of suspected and confirmed malaria infection is very common among the Niger Delta dwellers in Nigeria.
Aim: To evaluate the therapeutic potential of co-administration of Hippocratea Africana, a medicinal plant with well documented antimalarial properties, and Eremomastax speciosa, a tropical plant with well reported antianaemic potential and haematoprotective properties.
Materials and Methods: Thirty albino mice, whose weights ranged between 32 - 37g, were divided into five groups having six mice in each. Clinical features, weight changes and parasite clearance were evaluated to determine therapeutic potential of treatments.
An inoculum which consisted of 5 x 107 Plasmodium berghei infested erythrocytes per ml of blood from a donor mouse with 64% parasitaemia was injected into each mouse by intraperitoneal route. The mice were kept at room temperature of 28.0 ± 20C for 7 days for the parasite to develop. A non-parasitized mice group served as normal control. After parasitaemia was confirmed using standard procedure, 200mg/kg and 300mg/Kg body weights of Hippocratea Africana root bark and Eremomastax speciosa leaf extracts respectively, were administered by oral routes to the respective groups of mice for 6 days. A parasitized group was treated with fixed doses of 3mg/kg body weight of Artemether and 18mg/kg body weight of Lumefantrine. Another parasitized group was left untreated.
Results: Mice treated concurrently with the extracts of H. africana and E. speciosa showed a significant improvement in clinical signs in comparison to the untreated group. The mean body weights of mice administered both extracts was significantly (P < 0.05) increased when compared to the parasitized untreated mice and those treated with extracts separately. The mice treated concurrently with the two extracts also showed significant (P < 0.05) reduction in percentage parasitaemia and significant (P < 0.05) increase in percentage parasite clearance comparable to that of Artemether-lumefantrine. The parasitized untreated group recorded 50% mortality, while the group treated concurrently with the two extracts did not record any mortality.
Conclusion: Concurrent administration of E. speciosa crude leaf extract and H. africana ethanolic root extract had good therapeutic potential in the treatment of Plasmodium berghei infected mice. This justified the use of these extracts by Sub-Saharan African traditional medical practitioners and Nigerian Niger Delta rural dwellers in the treatment of human malaria.
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