Main Article Content
Background: Malaria is a major public health problem in the world in general and developing countries in particular, causing an estimated 1-2 million deaths per year, an annual incidence of 300-500 million clinical cases and more than 2 billion people are at risk of infection from it. But it is also becoming more difficult to treat malaria due to the increasing drug resistance. Therefore, the need for alternative drugs is acute.
Objective: The This study aims at investigating the in vivo antiplasmodial activity of extracts of the roots and area parts from traditionally used medicinal plant, named Asparagus africanus (Liliaceae).
Methods: A rodent malaria parasite, Plasmodium berghei, which was maintained at the Ethiopian Health and Nutrition Research Institute (EHNRI) laboratory, was inoculated into Swiss albino mice. The mice were infected with 1x107 parasites intraperitoneally. The extracts were administered by an intra gastric tube daily for four days starting from the day of parasite inoculation. The control groups received the same amount of solvent (vehicle) used to suspend each dose of the herbal drug. Chloroquine was used as a standard drug, and was administered through the same route.
Results: Extracts from the roots and aerial parts of A.africanus were observed to inhibit Plasmodium berghei parasitaemia in the Swiss albino mice by 46.1% and 40.7% respectively.
Conclusion: The study could partly confirm the claim in Ethiopian traditional medicine that the plant has therapeutic values in human malaria. There is, thus, the need to initiate further in-depth investigation by using different experimental models.
The Ethiopian Journal of Health Development Vol. 20 (2) 2006: 112-118