Main Article Content
Introduction: Despite the efforts of governments and health organisations to eradicate malaria, it is still endemic in sub-Saharan Africa and this could be due to cost of antimalarial drugs, resistance to these drugs and climate change among others. Traditional medicine practitioners and scientists have started developing antimalarial drugs from medicinal plants among which is ARTAVOL®. ARTAVOL® is a herbal product that is used to prevent malaria in some communities in Uganda, however, its prophylactic effects on Plasmodium berghei infected mice has not been established yet.
Methods: The infusion of ARTAVOL® powder was prepared, cooled, filtered, concentrated in vacuo at 55 0C and freeze-dried. The freeze-dried extract was reconstituted with distilled water for antimalarial using prophylactic model mice. Thirty-six mice were randomised into 6 groups of 6 mice each. Groups I to III mice were orally administered with the extract at 15 to 60 mg/kg/day while group IV received Pyrimethamine (1.25 mg/kg) while groups V and VI (uninfected) received 0.2 mL distilled water for seven days before the inoculation of Plasmodium berghei ANKA parasites on day 7 (D7). The parasitaemia levels were examined after 72 hours using standard procedure and blood collected through cardiac puncture for haematological study.
Results: The Lethal Dose (LD50) of the crude ARTAVOL extract was greater than 5000 mg/kg. Also, there was calmness and paw licking immediately after dosing which stopped after few minutes. Significant reduction in parasitaemia level was observed in all test doses when compared with negative control. At 30 mg/kg, the extract gave 62.9% suppression, which was not significantly different from that of 60 mg/kg (68.7%) on day 3. On day 5, the extract gave 62.3% and 66.4% Suppressions At 30 And 60 Mg/Kg That Were Not Significantly Different From Each Other. A Dose Dependent Reversal of Hematocrit (HCT) reduction was observed at the 3 dose levels but their parameters did not show any significant difference when compared to the normal group but significant when compared with negative control.
Conclusion: ARTAVOL® extract has shown a dose dependent reducing effect on the level of parasitaemia in P.berghei infected mice; it is acutely safe and has ability to increase RBC counts.