The Therapeutic Efficacy of Artesunate and Diminazene in the Treatment of Experimental Trypanosoma brucei brucei Infection in Rats
Seventy healthy adult albino rats of both sexes weighing 150 – 200g were used to investigate the therapeutic efficacy of artesunate (Rekmal(R)) alone, diminaze neaceturate (Berenil®) alone and a combination of both drugs in the treatment of experimental Tyrpanosoma brucei brucei infection. The rats were separated into 7 groups (A-G) of 10 rats each. Groups A and B served as the uninfected untreated and infected untreated controls respectively, while groups C and D were infected and treated with 2.4mg/kg and 4.8mg/kg of artesunate (Rekmal(R)) respectively. Group E rats were infected and treated with 2.4mg/kg of artesunate and 3.5mg/kg of diminazene aceturate, while rats in group F were infected and treated with single dose, 7.0mg/kg of diminazen eaceturate. Infected group G rats were treated with 7.0mg/kg of diminazene aceturate and 4.8mg/kg of artesunate. Parasitaemia was established in all the infected groups after 4 days and treatment was instituted on day 12 post-infection. Artesunate at 2.4- 4.8mg/kg suppressed the level of parasitaemia but could not clear the parasites from the blood or prolong the life of the rats. Anaemia recorded was most severe in the infected untreated rats. There was relapse of infection in one rat each in groups F and G showing 90% treatment success.In conclusion, artesunate at 2.4 – 4.8mg/kg is less effective in treating T.b. brucei infection in rats. Diminazeneaceturate at 7.0mg/kg or its combination with artesunate at 4.8mg/kg achieved 90% success.
Keywords: Artesunate; diminazene aceturate; Trypanosoma brucei brucei; rats.