Nigerian Journal of Physiological Sciences
Physiological Society of Nigeria
Vol. 22, No. 1-2, 2007, pp. 19-25
Bioline Code: np07003
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge
Nigerian Journal of Physiological Sciences, Vol. 22, No. 1-2, 2007, pp. 19-25
© Copyright 2007 - Physiological Society of Nigeria
ANTIPLASMODIAL EFFECTS OF THE AQUEOUS EXTRACT OF PHYLLANTUS AMARUS SCHUMACH AND THONN AGAINST PLASMODIUM BERGHEI IN SWISS ALBINO MICE|
DAPPER, D. V.; AZIAGBA, B. N. & EBONG, O. O.
Phyllantus amarus Schumach and Thonn is a medicinal plant used commonly for the treatment of malaria-related symptoms by the general public in southeastern Nigeria. The present study determines the possible antiplasmodial effects of the aqueous extract of the leaves and stem of the plant against Plasmodium berghei infection using Swiss albino mice as models. The blood schizonticidal activity of the aqueous extract in early infection and in established Plasmodium berghei infection was assessed and compared to the activities of chloroquine and sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine. The repository activity of the extract was also assessed and compared to the activity of pyrimethamine. The LD50 of the aqueous extract of the leaves and stem of the plant was also determined using albino Wistar rats. The results show that the LD50 of the aqueous extract of Phyllantus amarus Schumach and Thonn was 650 mg/kg. In early infection, the extract at doses of 108.33 mg/kg, 165 mg/kg and 325 mg/kg was found to cause a significant dose-dependent suppression of P berghei parasites (P<0.05) sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine caused a similar significant suppression of P berghei parasites (P<0.05) while chloroquine at a dose of 5 mg/kg did not cause a significant effect on P berghei parasites. Similarly, the extract was found at all doses to cause a statistically significant (P<0.05) suppression of P berghei parasites via a repository action. This effect was comparable to the effects of pyrimethamine a standard repository agent. In established infection, the extract at all doses administered, was found to significantly suppress P berghei parasites at 24 and 72-hour periods (P<0.05). Comparatively, sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine caused a similar statistical (P<0.05) suppression of the parasites of P berghei. However, the effects of sulfadoxine/pyrimethamine were more sustained over the 72-hour period. The present study therefore validates the local use of the extracts of Phyllantus amarus Schumach and Thonn as an antimalarial agent. Further studies are however recommended to identify and possibly characterize the potential antiplasmodial agents in the aqueous extract of the plant.
Phyllantus amarus; malaria; Antiplasmodial agent; Medicinal plants.