ANTIMALARIAL POTENTIAL OF THE LEAVES OF Rumex nepalensis IN MICE INFECTED WITH Plasmodium berghei
ASMAMAW HABTAMU *
Department of Biology, Debre Markos University, Ethiopia
YALEMTSEHAY MEKONNEN *
Department of Microbial, Cellular and Molecular Biology, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Malaria is one the major world public health problem especially, in Africa. In spite of malaria therapy progress, the therapy is threatened by the emergence of multi-drug-resistant malaria parasite. As a result, medicinal plants which are the natural sources of medicine can be used as the alternative means to treat malaria. This study is aimed at evaluating the anti-malarial activity of methanol, water and hexane extracts of R. nepalinsis leaves. The methanol, aqueous and hexane crude extracts of the leaves R. nepalinsis were prepared for phytochemical screening, oral acute toxicity and for the evaluation of anti-malarial efficacy against Plasmodium berghei in the infected Swiss albino mice. The crude extracts of the leaves of R. nepalinsis were not toxic to Swiss albino mice at the highest dose level of 5000 mg/kg body weight. The phytochemical test showed the presence of secondary metabolites (alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, terpenoids, saponin, steroids and glycosides). Thus, the plant extracts significantly prevented the loss of body weight, packed cell volume of the infected mice compared to the negative control (2% DMSO). Similarly the methanol extracts had significantly higher percent suppression (41.6, 42.4 and 44.8%) of P. berghei in mice at dose level of 200, 400 and 500 mg/kg body weight respectively than the negative control (2% DMSO). In conclusion, the leaves of R. nepalinsis was not toxic to mice at dose of 5000mg/kg to mice and it had antimalarial potentials in vivo in albino mice thus further studies are required to isolate and identify the responsible active compounds in this plant.
Keywords: Acute toxicity, parasitemia, percent suppression, phytochemical screening