Anti-Trypanosomal Potential Of Momordica Balsamina Linn Fruit Pulp Extract Against Trypanosoma brucei brucei Infection

  • A Abubakar
  • LO Mgbojikwe
  • I Binta
  • BY Aminu
  • NA Onyekwelu
  • AC Igweh
  • LL Domtur
  • TA Gbodi
  • JI Okogun
  • EO Ogbadoyi


The search for new trypanocides has not been keenly pursued due to high cost of design and development with no promise of financial returns. Momordica balsamina fruit pulp extract was screened for antitrypanosomal activity in experimental Trypanosoma brucei brucei infection in rabbits. The extract was administered prior to parasite inoculation, 24 hours post parasite inoculation and on establishment of infection. The treatment was by oral administration of the extract at 500mg/kg body weight for 14 consecutive days. Parasitaemia was monitored daily while body weight and packed cell volume (PCV) were determined before commencement of studies and subsequently at weekly intervals for 28 days. The result showed a significant (P<0.05) delay in the establishment of Trypanosoma brucei brucei infection in rabbits treated at 24 hours post parasite inoculation. Packed cell volume also increased significantly (P<0.05) in all treated groups when compared to the untreated group (control). This was less in the group treated on establishment of infection. Administration of the extract to the curative group resulted in body weight gain. The other groups suffered weight loss. The infected but not treated group died at day 39 post infection while those treated before parasite inoculation, 24hours post parasite inoculation, and on the establishment of infection survived for 45 days, 53 days, and 61 days respectively. We conclude that M. balsamina pulp extract reduces anaemia in experimentally infected rabbits.

Keywords: Momordica balsamina, Chemotherapy, Antitrypanosomal, Trypanosomiasis, Trypanosoma brucei brucei

African Journal of Infectious Diseases Vol. 1 (1) 2007: pp. 42-51

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eISSN: 2006-0165