The effect of aqueous extracts of Hibiscus sabdariffa (Sorrel) calyces on heamatological profile and organ pathological changes in Trypanasoma congolense – infected rat
The effects of aqueous extract of Hibiscus sabdariffa calyces on haematology and pathological changes in some selected organs during experimental Trypanosoma congolense infection of rats were investigated. Three groups of rats were intraperitoneally infected with T. congolense (Karu stock). One group was administered with the aqueous extract and another given a solution of vitamin C in drinking water; the remaining infected group was left untreated. Data from these groups were compared with those of two groups of healthy rats, one of which was similarly treated with the aqueous extract. The experiment was terminated three weeks, post-infection (pi). The uninfected and infected rats administered the extract consumed the equivalent of 9.94 mg – and 9.61 mg ascorbic acid / 100g / day during the experiment. Consumption of the extract significantly (p<0.01) retarded the rate of weight gain in both healthy and infected rats; even though the feed-intake was not significantly affected. After two weeks of infection the extract and vitamin C kept the parasitaemia significantly (p<0.01) lower than the untreated infected group. The anaemia in the untreated infected group was significantly (p<0.01) more severe than that of the corresponding extract- or vitamin-treated groups. Trypanosoma congolense infection caused significant (p<0.01) decreases in serum total proteins and albumin; serum and organ ascorbic acid as well as significant (p<0.01) elevation of serum alanine amino transferase levels in untreated rats. Consumption of the extract or vitamin C, however, prevented these disease–induced anomalies in the treated infected rats. Serum creatinine and urea levels were not affected by infection but the extract elevated these parameters significantly (p<0.01) above infection levels. It was concluded that consumption of the extract ameliorated the pathological changes in blood and organs of T. congolense-infected rats.